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Bills interested in Minnesota Vikings DE Danielle Hunter, per report

Bills aren’t done adding pass rushers, apparently

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

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,” 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.