Continuing their recent run of defensive fortification, the Vikings agreed to a five-year, $72MM deal with Danielle Hunter. He’s now the second-highest-paid player on Minnesota’s defense, coming in behind only Xavier Rhodes.
Locked up through 2023, Hunter will earn $37.9MM across the first three years of this contract, Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. That’s down from a previously reported $48MM figure. This season won’t feature a substantial hit to the Vikings’ payroll, with Krammer noting Hunter’s 2018 cap number will come in at just $5MM. After this season, the eight-figure hits start coming.
The 23-year-old defensive end will count $13MM toward Minnesota’s 2019 cap and $14MM in 2020. In 2021 and ’22, Hunter’s deal will represent $15MM of the Vikes’ payroll. Of course, the cap can be expected to reside north of $200MM by then, so these numbers — on a deal that can be classified as Vikings-friendly — may not look especially imposing once the next decade begins.
Incentives also appear in this contract but don’t comprise too much of it. Krammer adds that Hunter’s re-up contains $6MM in incentives across its five-year span. There are also $2.5MM in total per-game roster bonuses and $500K in workout bonuses housed in this agreement, per Krammer.
The Vikings now have Hunter, Rhodes, Everson Griffen, Eric Kendricks, Linval Joseph and Harrison Smith signed long-term. This sextet is all locked in through at least the 2021 season. While an extension for Anthony Barr is being discussed, the Vikings already have a substantial portion of their defensive core under team control for the foreseeable future.
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