Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Danielle Hunter holding out for more money from the Minnesota Vikings may not end well.

Despite being a three-time Pro Bowl pass-rusher in a Minnesota Vikings uniform, things have been better between Danielle Hunter and the team he plays for.

Hunter held out of the Vikings’ mandatory minicamp this week. He is entering the final season of a five-year contract he signed with Minnesota worth $72 million back in 2019. Coming off his third Pro Bowl season in four years, Hunter has one last big pay day before his skill set may rapidly decline. Keep in mind he is entering his eighth NFL season out of LSU, one in which he will be 29…

With the recently released Dalvin Cook still on the open market, as well as Adam Thielen and Za’Darius Smith on new teams, what are the chances Hunter is dealt at some point this summer?

Let’s discuss the ramifications of the Vikings moving on from Hunter this late into the offseason.

NFL trade rumors: Will Minnesota Vikings trade Danielle Hunter this offseason?

While the Vikings could technically absorb the $18.86 million dead cap hit by releasing or parting ways with Hunter, why would they? They have roughly $19.2 million to spend the rest of the way. That puts them inside the top 10 in terms of payroll flexibility heading into training camp. Frankly, I don’t think they should trade him, but I firmly believe Kwesi Adofo-Mensah wants to blow this up.

The Vikings may have had enough talent on the roster last year to win a bad division in relatively flukey fashion. You want proof of that notion? Look at the Vikings’ atrocious point differential for being a double-digit-winning team, as well as their Wild Card round exit to Daniel Jones and the New York Giants. You guys lost at home to Daniel Jones and the New York Giants! How could you?!

Frankly, one of two things will happen. Hunter will either get what he wants, which is a new contract beyond this year, or Adofo-Mensah won’t budge, and this thing will go to hell and a handbasket faster than you can say SKOL, brother! Minnesota is the likeliest challenger to the Detroit Lions in the division this season, with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers rebuilding now.

Overall, everything we have seen out of Adofo-Mensah suggests he doesn’t want to retain any of the previous administration’s players longer than he has to. Keep in mind that second-year head coach Kevin O’Connell has a job to do as well, which is to win games. For whatever reason, I just don’t sense the alignment necessary for the Vikings to sustain a winning product in the long run.

I could be proven wrong in due time, but with or without Hunter, I don’t see this as a playoff team.

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