Vikings looks like geniuses after Danielle Hunter deal with Texans

  • Former Vikings DE Danielle Hunter is signing a two-year deal with the Texans
  • Minnesota already added Texans DE Jonathan Greenard in free agency
  • Swapping Greenard for Hunter is great business for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings had their share of huge free agency decisions to make this year and it certainly didn't end with Kirk Cousins. There was also the question of shelling out the dollars necessary to keep defensive end Danielle Hunter.

Well, the Vikings let Cousins walk. And now Hunter is officially out as well.

On Tuesday, the second day of the NFL's legal tampering period, Hunter agreed to a two-year deal with the Houston Texans worth $49 million, per Adam Schefter.

Despite losing Hunter, the Vikings come out of this looking like winners.

Expensive Danielle Hunter contract proves Vikings right to find replacement

The Texans are going to pay Hunter $24 million per year for seasons he plays at 30 and 31 years old. In terms of per-year dollars, that's up there with Montez Sweat, Josh Allen and Rashan Gary.

The Vikings are getting Jonathan Greenard at age 27 with a four-year deal worth $76 million. He'll be making $19 million per year.

That's essentially a $5 million savings on a player three years younger who is coming off his best season as a pro with 12.5 sacks in 15 games.

Hunter had 16.5 sacks in 2023, so Greenard isn't exactly at his level yet, but he's an up-and-comer with his best in front of him. The likelihood that the Texans will get the same productivity out of an aging Hunter is lower.

Houston has incentive to go all-in on a player like Hunter right now. The Vikings don't.

All of this hinges on Greenard proving that his 2023 output wasn't a flash in the pan. There's reason to believe it wasn't.

While he only had 1.5 sacks in 2022 while missing time with a calf injury, Greenard led the Texans with eight sacks in his second season in the league. With full-time work, he's had stellar production.

In an ideal world, Greenard will be for the Vikings what Hunter has been over the last four years.

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