The Buffalo Bills have invested considerable capital in the defensive end position over the last several seasons but they aren’t done yet. After a poor pass rush once again, the Bills are one of the teams interested in Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter, according to former Star-Tribune writer and current podcast host Judd Zulgad.
Bills were believed to be in the mix of teams that have checked in. https://t.co/a01aw6rGNM— Judd Zulgad (@jzulgad) March 12, 2022
“Bills were believed to be in the mix of teams that have checked in,” wrote Zulgad in response to a tweet from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler about a trade for Hunter.
The Vikings are over the 2022 NFL salary cap by about $16 million, so a trade for Hunter would ease some of that burden while they rebuild. Fowler reported multiple teams were inquiring about the pass rusher.
A torn pectoral ended Hunter’s 2021 season after seven games and he missed 2020 with a herniated disc in his neck. Those injuries will almost certainly lower his asking price and passing a physical would be key to any move.
Hunter has 14.5 sacks in each of his last two healthy seasons (2019 and 2018) and 12.5 sacks in 2016. He’s a former third-round pick and will turn 28 this October.
Contractually, Hunter signed a huge deal with the Vikings a few years ago. He has two years left on that multi-year contract extension and the numbers would be easy for the team acquiring him. He has a $7.5 million dead-cap hit for the Vikings, but it would clear more than $18 million from their books. That’s because he’s due an $18.5 million roster bonus next weekend.
If a team converted that roster bonus to a signing bonus, and spread it out over two years, the new team would only have a cap hit of $10.65 million in 2022. He is only due $5 million in 2023, with a cap hit of $14.25 million a year from now.