Vikings prepare for life after Danielle Hunter, add a pair of edge rushers

It took the Vikings roughly 45 minutes to make a splash on Monday with the legal tampering period in full swing. They agreed to terms with edge rusher Jonathan Greenard, then soon after agreed to terms with another edge rusher, Andrew Van Ginkel.

A source confirmed both agreements to the Pioneer Press.

According to ESPN insider Adam Schefter, Greenard will sign a four-year, $76-million deal with $42 million guaranteed, while Van Ginkel is on a two-year, $20-million deal with $14 million guaranteed. The signings can become official on Wednesday when NFL free agency opens up.

Notably, the commitments to Greenard and Van Ginkel likely means that star edge rusher Danielle Hunter will be headed elsewhere.

If this is indeed the end of Hunter’s time with the Vikings, he finished his tenure with 87 1/2 sacks, 108 tackles for a loss and 134 quarterback hits since being selected in the third round of the 2015 draft. He learned the ropes from former star defensive end Everson Griffen, then teamed up with him to create a dynamic duo that made life miserable on opposing quarterbacks.

Whichever team ends up signing Hunter will be getting a force to be reckoned with who is still very much in his prime. He posted a career-high 16 1/2 sacks for the Vikings last season, proving he’s still among the best in the NFL at what he does. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Hunter get a deal that pays him upwards of $25 million annually.

As much as the Vikings would love to keep Hunter around long term, they should be in pretty good hands with Greenard and Van Ginkel as the primary pass rushers.

Though he might not be a known name quite yet, Greenard, 26, is in the process of becoming just that after producing 12 1/2 sacks with the Houston Texans last season. Originally selected in the third round of the 2020 draft, Greenard worked his way from a rotational player into an unquestioned starter. In a total of 48 games for his career, Greenard has 23 sacks, 32 tackles for a loss and 41 quarterback hits.

Van Ginkel, 28, has been productive in a situation role with the Miami Dolphins throughout his career. In 73 career games, Van Ginkel has 17 sacks, 31 tackles for a loss and 57 quarterback hits. He hails from Rock Valley, Iowa, and played a couple of seasons at Wisconsin before being selected in the fifth round of the 2019 draft.

The fact that the Vikings prioritized Greenard and Van Ginkel so early in the legal tampering period suggests that they are fully invested in giving defensive coordinator Brian Flores more to work with next season.

Related Articles