The Vikings have evaluated trade options for Danielle Hunter in light of his ongoing unhappiness with his contract, with sources from multiple teams saying Minnesota has made the former Pro Bowler available.
Hunter does not want to play on his $4.9 million base salary for this season, so the Vikings have tried to find creative solutions should they fail to reach a new deal with him. Hunter, 28, skipped organized team activities and mandatory minicamp and is not practicing during training camp after missing the offseason program.
Minnesota's approach isn't necessarily new, with the understanding that Hunter likely wants a trade or release, absent a new deal. The Vikings have attempted to extend Hunter, but not on a long-term deal the player feels is commensurate with his skill set, sources said.
Coach Kevin O'Connell said Saturday that he has spoken daily with Hunter in the team facility and remains optimistic that an agreement to begin practicing can be reached. For now, however, O'Connell would not reveal what, if any, work Hunter has been doing.
"My hope is that we can work towards him being out on the practice field with us sooner rather than later," O'Connell said. "He's been great. Looking forward to taking it one day at a time. I've not tried to hide my feelings. Danielle Hunter is a very special player. As soon as we can get him out here, you'll see him out and our fans will see him out here."
On Tuesday, when Hunter reported for the start of training camp, Minnesota general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah stopped well short of saying the pass-rusher's future has been resolved.
Asked whether he was confident Hunter would be on the roster this season, Adofo-Mensah said he was "really excited to see him."
"It's great to see a great player like that," the GM said. "Great Viking -- really excited. So I just want to make sure I say that, and that's where I'm at right now."
Hunter is in the final season of a five-year, $70 million extension. His salary is low this year because of a reworked deal two offseasons ago.
He returned last season after two years of injuries and recorded 10.5 sacks, even after transitioning from a 4-3 defensive end to a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Information from ESPN's Kevin Seifert was used in this report.