Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter will report to mandatory minicamp Tuesday under a reworked contract, a source said Monday.
Hunter, who has been displeased with his contract, missed each of the past three weeks of voluntary organized team activities. NFL Media was the first to report Monday that Hunter would attend minicamp.
NFL Media later Monday was the first to report that Hunter would be at minicamp under a reworked deal, and provided details. NFL Media reported that Hunter will get an upfront signing bonus of $5.6 million of his $12.15 million base salary for 2021. And added to his contract will be an $18 million roster bonus that is due on the fifth day of the new league year next March, which would bring his 2022 salary to about $20 million. He could play with the Vikings at that salary, be released or the Vikings could work out a new contract.
Before reworking his deal, Hunter, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who missed all of last season with a neck injury, had three years left on his contract with an average value of $14.4 million. That average salary ranked him 17th in the NFL by OvertheCap.com for 4-3 scheme defensive ends.
Hunter is believed to be fully healthy after undergoing surgery last October to repair a herniated disc.
Earlier Monday, NFL Media analyst James Jones, a former receiver for the Packers and the Raiders, tweeted that sources told him Hunter “will be in attendance” when the Vikings’ three-day minicamp gets underway Tuesday. Hunter faced a fine of as much as $93,085 for not attending. His contract includes a $100,000 workout bonus for participating in offseason drills; it is unclear if he will get that.
After it became known that Hunter would undergo surgery last October to repair a herniated disc, NFL Media reporter Ian Rapoport reported that the Vikings would have to make Hunter “the highest-paid defender in football or trade him.” General manager Rick Spielman said in March he had heard nothing about that related to Hunter. Rapoport was the first to report Monday on Hunter’s new contract.
Hunter, taken in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft, signed a five-year, $72 million contract extension in June 2018 that began with the 2019 season. He went on to have 14 1/2 sacks in both 2018 and 2019, and made the Pro Bowl each season.
Hunter has not taken part in a Vikings practice since Aug. 14, the first workout of training camp last season, when he apparently was injured. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer initially called the injury a “tweak” before saying in October that he didn’t realize until later that it was much more serious.
Hunter has not spoken to the media since April 2020.
Besides Hunter, the only other player on the roster to miss all of voluntary OTAs was cornerback Jeff Gladney. His absence comes after he was arrested April 5 in Dallas for an alleged April 2 incident involving a woman and for which he was charged with third-degree felony family violence assault. His future with the Vikings is uncertain.