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The Minnesota Vikings aren’t looking to trade Danielle Hunter even as the veteran defensive end plans to hold out of their mandatory minicamp, according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert.
“Multiple NFL teams have monitored his status this offseason, but there have been no serious trade talks to date,” Seifert reported Monday.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN added that Hunter “would have real trade value” but that the Vikings “would prefer to retain him.”
The 28-year-old was a Pro Bowler for the third time in four seasons in 2022 after compiling 65 tackles, 10.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss.
During the 2021 offseason, the Vikings and Hunter renegotiated the contract he signed in 2018. As a result, he got a bigger payout for the 2022 season but saw his earning power beyond that lessened.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on June 7 that Minnesota offered a “Band-Aid-type deal” that would raise Hunter’s salary for the upcoming season, to no avail. The implication is that he wants a long-term agreement in place.
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
From Inside Minicamps LIVE on NFL+: The #Vikings are receiving trade calls centered around star pass-rusher Danielle Hunter, and the interest is real, sources say. A look inside the complex situation… pic.twitter.com/GKx98NSx0n
Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, a player risks increasing fines of $16,459, $32,920 and $49,374 for each day of mandatory minicamp he skips. The total amount probably isn’t punitive enough to force Hunter’s hand.
The money will begin to add up in training camp, though, since each missed day merits a $50,000 fine.
Whether it’s Hunter reporting to the team without a new contract or the Vikings trading him before things get uglier, somebody will have to blink first.