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Vikings DE Danielle Hunter on 2024 prospects: 'Whatever is best available for me, I'll take that'

ORLANDO, Fla. -- In an uncertain 2023 offseason, Danielle Hunter and the Minnesota Vikings were able to agree to a one-year deal that led to a career-best season for the defensive end.

However, uncertainty is once more at hand for the four-time Pro Bowler: Was Hunter's eighth season also his last in Minnesota, or does a lucrative extension lie ahead?

Hunter's taking the patient approach, but he's intent on going with the top option obtainable to him.

"Just letting everything play its course. I did my job. Everything's in my agent's hands and my team -- and whomever it is that's out there," Hunter told at Friday's Pro Bowl Games practice. "My job, like I said, is to do my job. And I'm gonna make sure I stay in shape and whatever is best available for me, I'll take that."

The 29-year-old might not always get mentioned among the elite edges in the game, but his 2023 showing and fourth Pro Bowl selection provided evidence that he deserves to be.

In his first season playing under defensive coordinator Brian Flores, Hunter posted career highs of 16.5 sacks, 83 tackles and 23 tackles for loss, with the latter leading the league. He resided in the opposition's backfield, as further evidenced by his 86 QB pressures, which were fourth in the NFL, per Next Gen Stats.

"Just doing my job," Hunter said of his season. "I take pride in doing what I do. It wasn't just me alone, my teammates, defensive coordinator put me in the best position to make plays for my team. Like I said, wish I could do more, like making us going to the playoffs."

Minnesota finished the year at 7-10, technically still alive for a playoff spot in Week 18, but ultimately injuries to Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson proved too costly.

Hunter was sterling throughout the team's tumult, though.

"We had a lot of ups and downs, but we learned from them," he said. "It was football, unfortunate things happen, but we dealt with that as a team together and we finished."

Hunter was a third-round pick of the Vikings in the 2015 NFL Draft. He's been part of four playoff teams under two head coaches. He's been part of ups and downs aplenty this past season and before. But now he's coming off what is statistically his finest season yet, and he's aiming for his best option heading into the offseason.

Whether that means more autumns in Minnesota or elsewhere remains in question.

"Staying in shape, doing my part, and then when the time comes, my agent or the Vikings, they'll come to a decision," Hunter said. "We'll see what's best when the time comes."

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