3 players Vikings should trade not named Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings. (Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings. (Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings
Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings. (Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) /

player. Pick Analysis. Minnesota Vikings. Danielle Hunter. 60. Scouting Report. DE. 1

The Vikings could move off Danielle Hunter’s massive salary this offseason

Outside of Cousins, the one player occupying the most space on the books is defensive end Danielle Hunter. While he is a former two-time Pro Bowl pass rusher, Hunter has only played in seven games in the last two seasons combined. It should be noted that he did have six sacks in those seven games last year. He has averaged over 10 a year each season that he has played.

While he is still on the good side of 30, Hunter carries a massive $26.12 million cap hit for 2022. This will be his age-28 season out of LSU, so one would think he still has a Pro Bowl or two left in the tank before his eventual decline. The question is do the Vikings want to have Hunter’s massive cap hit on the books for the next two seasons before he hits unrestricted free agency once again.

Though he has a $7.48 million dead cap hit for the Vikings next year, that number drops down to $4.12 million post June 1. Cutting him would yield massive savings, but there are so many teams in dire need of a pass rush that they would be willing to trade for Hunter’s big number over the next two years. This comes down to how he will fit in Ed Donatell’s defense on O’Connell’s staff.

Dealing Hunter is more likely than Cook or Thielen since O’Connell is an offensive-minded coach.

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