Report: NFL teams are calling the #Vikings about trading Pass-Rusher Danielle Hunter, per @RapSheet— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) June 7, 2023
The interest is "Pretty serious."
He's to make just $5.5 million this year. pic.twitter.com/0UiPWeBVOx
Hunter, who is only 28 years old, has established himself as one of the premier defensive ends in the NFL throughout his seven-year career. Despite being hindered by injuries in 2021 and 2022, he made a strong comeback last season, recording double-digit sacks and earning a Pro Bowl selection.
Hunter is currently in the final year of a team-friendly contract, with a base salary of $4.9 million in 2023. However, the Vikings have recently made moves focused on the future. They released Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook on Thursday, indicating their intention to create space for a potential contract extension for star wide receiver Justin Jefferson.
The Baltimore Ravens have a history of waiting until later in free agency to sign players to team-friendly deals after the market cools down, as it helps them avoid impacting the compensatory pick formula. However, in this case, acquiring Hunter would likely require the Ravens to trade for him, possibly giving up a draft pick. Although this may not be ideal, the team has the cap space to accommodate Hunter’s current salary for the 2023 season.
The question for the Ravens would then be whether they see Hunter as a short-term rental or if they have intentions of extending his contract beyond the current year à la Roquan Smith. Adding a Pro Bowl caliber pass rusher like Hunter to their defense would undoubtedly bolster Baltimore’s Super Bowl aspirations. At this stage of the offseason, finding talent like Hunter is challenging. While other available options, such as Justin Houston and Jadeveon Clowney, exist, Hunter is a younger and superior player with several years of outstanding football ahead of him.