Danielle Hunter wants a new contract, but won't hold out to get it.
NFL Network's James Jones reported Monday that Hunter will be in attendance when the Minnesota Vikings kick off mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, per sources informed of the situation. Players begin reporting Monday.
Hunter, who signed a five-year, $72 million contract in 2018, has skipped organized team activities and the rest of the voluntary portion of spring workouts, despite having a $100,000 workout bonus. By attending minicamp, Hunter would avoid just over $93,000 in fines.
Showing up for minicamp doesn't necessarily mean Hunter will participate much, given his injury history. His plan to report, however, is notable given his reported contract desires.
Still just 26-years-old, Hunter is a QB demon when on the field, generating 14.5 sacks in 2018 and 2019 while earning Pro Bowl honors. The edge rusher, however, missed all of last season due to a neck injury. He underwent surgery to clean up a herniated disc in his neck in October. Hunter's plan to report to minicamp may be an effort to show he's healthy and still deserving of a new contract after missing last year.
Hunter always hoped to re-do his deal, which currently sits 17th among edge rushers at $14.4 million in annual average. The question is whether the Vikings are willing to meet those expectations with three years left on a deal for a player who missed an entire campaign due to injury.
We've seen players participate in mandatory minicamp then hold out of training camp -- most recently with Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott -- so Hunter showing up this week isn't a sign his contract concerns have been quashed. The new collective bargaining agreement not allowing fines for holdouts during training camp could change how players seek new contracts -- with a "hold-in" possible coming in vogue.
Hunter will report for minicamp this week. We'll see how much on-field work he does and whether he addresses his contract situation with the media in Minneapolis during the three-day session.