MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Vikings started organized team activities on Monday at TCO Performance Center in Eagan.
While several veterans were on the field going through voluntary practices and workouts, one key member of the defense is reportedly not in attendance. Defensive end Danielle Hunter is reportedly not among the players there, according to Vikings’ analyst and former player Ben Leber.
Again, organized team activities are completely voluntary and not required for attendance. Many players who are there have workout bonuses tied into their contracts, so their appearance is understandable.
That said, among the veterans who are there include Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr, Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Ameer Abdullah, C.J. Ham, Patrick Peterson, Kris Boyd, Adam Thielen and Mackensie Alexander. Last week, both Mike Zimmer and Justin Jefferson said a majority of veterans would be at OTAs, but not everybody.
There’s no reason to be concerned about Hunter now, but there might be it he’s not at mandatory minicamp, which is scheduled for June 15-17. Hunter missed all of the 2020 season after having surgery on a herniated disc in his neck. There’s also been reports that he wants a new contract with the Vikings.
Hunter had 14.5 sacks in both 2018 and 2019, got selected to the Pro Bowl both years and is the fastest player in NFL history to amass at least 50 sacks in his first five seasons. He currently sits at 54.5.
The hope is a revamped defense that includes Hunter, Michael Pierce, Dalvin Tomlinson, Eric Kendricks, Barr, Smith, Peterson and others can make the 7-9 finish last season a thing of the past. If Hunter shows up for mandatory minicamp in mid-June, Vikings fans have little to worry about. If he doesn’t, then things could get interesting.