We talk quite a bit around here about the outstanding job that Rob Brzezinski and the Minnesota Vikings do with how they handle contracts and the team’s salary cap. If they’re not the best in the league at what they do, they’re certainly near the top of the list, and a recent list from Pro Football Focus highlights that.
PFF put together their list of the 32 best contracts in the National Football League, and the Vikings lead the pack with four players on that list. If you count Stefon Diggs, there are five contracts on the list that were negotiated by the current Vikings’ front office.
The highest-ranked Viking on PFFs list is Danielle Hunter, he of the newly renegotiated deal. His contract comes in at #3 on the list.
Prior to missing the entire 2020 season with injury, Hunter had the most quarterback pressures among all edge rushers over the 2018-19 seasons with 154. Not only is this deal phenomenal value in hindsight, but at the time of signing, Hunter was just 23 years old coming off of 2016 and 2017 seasons in which he ranked top 20 in WAR among all edge rushers.
This contract was revised earlier in June, with the Vikings effectively converting it into a one-year deal with an ultimatum to extend or release after the 2021 season. Even so, when considering what Minnesota has been able to do the last several years in terms of spending, Hunter’s contract remains a top value league-wide.
Obviously, the Vikings did an outstanding job of getting Hunter back into the fold. The hope is that he’ll have a big season in 2021, one that would land him either a huge chunk of money or a new long-term deal with the team. He’s still just 26 years old, so he’s got a few more paydays coming. Hopefully they’ll be in Minnesota.
Harrison Smith is also in the top ten of the PFF list, checking in at #7. The Vikings are also represented on the list by defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (#27) and linebacker Eric Kendricks (#30).
The Vikings found themselves in a difficult cap situation coming into the 2021 offseason, but thanks to the magic of the Wizard of Brzez, they keep managing to keep their stars happy and add talent as well. You can’t ask for much more from a front office than that.