As I said back toward the end of the Minnesota Vikings regular season last year, Danielle Hunter has lost his mind if he thinks he should be the highest paid defensive end in the league.
This is what I hate the most about putting so much time, energy, and effort into liking a professional sports franchise.
This guy was a raw talent that decided to come out for the NFL draft after his junior season at LSU where he netted only 1.5 sacks.
Minnesota took a chance on Hunter when they selected him in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft.
Instead of looking at the guy like an underachiever…or player whose only job in college was to rush the quarterback but didn’t even net 2 total sacks…and was dumb enough to come out for the draft after his junior year anyway…Minnesota’s front office and coaching staff instead saw someone whose raw skills could be honed into something special if put into the right situation.
Zimmer and his staff groomed Hunter. They taught him proper technique and gave him plenty of room to grow while he occasionally spelled starters Brian Robison and Everson Griffen. They put zero pressure on the young man, while slowly molding him into a potentially unstoppable force.
Minnesota brought him along better than any organization in the league could have or would ever be expected to.
By the start of the 2017 season it was clear he was in line to become a full time starter.
After showing flashes of being all-world in 2017, Minnesota signed him to a 5-year, 72 million dollar extension before the 2018 season. The deal included a 15 million dollar signing bonus and 40 million guaranteed.
During the 2018 and 2019 seasons there were plenty of times where I sent texts to my dad, and/or anyone who else I thought would respond, saying Hunter was the best player on the team.
In 2019 he became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 50 sacks. A truly remarkable feat considering his part-time playing status during his first two years in the league.
He was that good.
Unfortunately sometime after the end of the 2019 league year and the beginning of the 2020 regular season Hunter hurt his neck. Ultimately putting himself on the shelf for the entirety of last season.
I’m thinking…Eh, shit happens, he’ll be back in 2021.
Or apparently not.
Once again, my endlessly annoying world that surrounds me with truly idiotic, dense, and moronic Minnesota colleagues,…I, as one of the only legitimate, astute, loyal, sane, and consistently on-top-of-it Vikings fans that possesses the ability to think outside the box, have already accurately foreseen the future and commented on it.
All this has already been forecasted accurately and fairly by yours truly when I wrote about the potential of this situation rearing its ugly head on October 22, 2020.
I can’t believe someone who had to sit out year 2 (YEAR TWO!) of a 5 year deal with a neck injury would come out in the offseason and say ‘I need to get paid like the best at my position or I want to be traded.’
This organization took a chance on you, bud,…molded you into a player who has reached his full potential in a defensive system and scheme perfectly conformed to fit with all your abilities and talents.
This is an organization that has already shown they are willing to take care of you when the time is right…Was willing to lock you into a contract that no one else would have, a year before they had to, just to show how much they value your skill, effort, and abilities.
And TWO years into a FIVE year deal you complain about needing to be highest paid at your position.
Coming off a neck injury?
Danielle, I’ve been your biggest fan.
Next sentence: FUCK OFF.
There is a legitimate argument to be made that if the Vikings didn’t draft you where they did, when they did, and you didn’t come into that perfect situation, where the Vikings organization afforded you the luxury of time to develop, under no timetable or pressure to get yourself ready to produce…all while being taught by one of the league’s top defensive coaching teachers, (not to mention the ability to learn from Griffen and Robison in front of you) that you’d be out of the league by now.
I hope you sit at home and rot, while the team fines you for every practice, game, and OTA you miss for the next three years,…
That is, unless you decide to come back next year and participate for a mere pittance of 14.5 million dollars, prove you are healthy, and produce.
Upon doing so you’ll be 27 years old at season’s end. And you’ll have actual leverage for doing the same thing, legitimately, next year. That is, if it’s that fucking important to you.
I’d still hate you at that moment.
But at least then I’d respect it.