After a week of speculation, the Minnesota Vikings are reportedly planning on keeping Danielle Hunter.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Saturday morning that barring an unforeseen change, the Vikings will keep Hunter and pay his $18 million roster bonus due on Sunday. The move will also lock the Vikings into the final two years of a seven-year, $72 million contract signed in 2018.
The decision would be surprising as Hunter owns a $25.8 million cap hit for the 2022 season. Earlier this week, the Star Tribune's Ben Goessling reported that the Vikings were attempting to trade Hunter to create cap space but according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, a deal never materialized.
After restructuring the contracts of Harrison Smith and Adam Thielen, the Vikings have $2.4 million in cap space according to Over The Cap. Absorbing Hunter's cap hit would hurt the Vikings' ability to add free agents but it might be worth it to keep their best pass rusher.
According to Pro Football Reference, Hunter ranks ninth in franchise history with 60.5 sacks. He also is the fastest player in NFL history to reach 50 career sacks. Although he's missed 26 games over the past two seasons due to neck and pectoral injuries, he collected six sacks in seven games during the 2021 season.
It's another move that signals the Vikings plan to run it back with a roster that went 8-9 last season.