Getty Images

Money has driven the exit of several big-name Vikings as of late, with Dalvin Cook and Za'Darius Smith just the latest veterans to part ways with the team. Star pass rusher Danielle Hunter could be next, with the three-time Pro Bowl selection set to skip Minnesota's mandatory minicamp as he seeks a new contract, according to NFL Media.

Hunter, 28, was a no-show at the Vikings' organized team activities (OTAs) leading up to this week's minicamp. He'll now willingly face financial penalties for holding out of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, per Tom Pelissero, with he and the Vikings failing to "see eye-to-eye" on his contractual future. This comes days after NFL Media reported Hunter has drawn serious trade interest.

The one-time second-team All-Pro is technically owed $13.1 million in 2023, but he's guaranteed just $5.5M, per Over the Cap, after previously restructuring his deal. Fresh off a 10.5-sack season, his first in a 3-4 system, Hunter could be seeking upwards of $20M annually on a new deal, according to The Athletic, whereas the Vikings have been averse to paying a premium for aging veterans this offseason.

When healthy, Hunter has been one of the game's most consistent edge rushers, logging at least 12.5 sacks three different times between 2016-19. Since then, however, he has missed a combined 27 games due to injury, including the entire 2020 season with a neck issue. His fellow 2022 starter, Za'Darius Smith, was recently traded to the Browns to net the Vikings more than $10M in savings.

Dealing Hunter would save the Vikings an additional $5.5M this year, as well as offload any future money he desires. It would also further weaken a pass rushing corps now dependent on newcomer Marcus Davenport and reserves like D.J. Wonnum and Benton Whitley. New coordinator Brian Flores was experimenting with aggressive front-seven looks sans Hunter during Vikings OTAs, but the veteran remains one of the most accomplished starters on that side of the ball.