The Minnesota Vikings are attempting to trade defensive end Danielle Hunter before Sunday, according to a report by Ben Goessling of Star Tribune. That’s when the Vikings would have to pay an $18 million roster bonus to the 27-year-old Hunter, one of the NFL’s top pass rushers over the last five years.
On the west coast, the Los Angeles Rams have been clearing out cap space, but then got the unfortunate news on Wednesday that it won’t be going to Von Miller, after Miller signed a six-year contract with the Buffalo Bills. Could the Rams actually be clearing out cap space to acquire Hunter instead?
As the #Vikings try to sort out their cap situation, sources continue to say they've been trying to trade Danielle Hunter, who's got an $18 million roster bonus due on Sunday.— Ben Goessling (@BenGoessling) March 17, 2022
Hunter has a $25.83M cap figure. The Vikings need to clear space to make their new deals official.
The obvious question is “How?” but don’t rule out the possibility that Les Snead would trade his 2023 second or 2024 first round draft pick to get a player of Hunter’s ability. Hunter had 14.5 sacks in back to back seasons from 2018-2019, but missed all of 2020 with a herniated disc in his back, then returned in 2021 and had six sacks in seven games.
But Hunter went back on injured reserve with a torn pectoral, the same injury suffered by the Rams’ Sebastian Joseph-Day last season.
Still, Hunter is 27 and he has 54 sacks and 81 QB hits over his last 71 games. Los Angeles was presumably ready to pay out a large signing bonus to Von Miller, who is 33, so is it out the realm of possibility that they could afford Danielle Hunter instead?
It’s never unrealistic to think that Les Snead is interested in star football players. At any stage in their careers.
There are still deals to restructure, contracts to extend, and potentially releases to be made. Hunter carries only a $1.4 million base salary in 2022 and is signed for only $4.9 million in 2023; but it’s fair to assume that Hunter’s new team would extend him after the trade. Snead knows how to do that too.