Danielle Hunter and Frank Clark have a lot in common.
Coming into the league they were very similar prospects:
Danielle Hunter - 6-5, 252lbs, 1.57” 10 yard split, 36.5” vert, 10’10” broad and 6.95 3-cone
Frank Clark - 6-3, 271lbs, 1.69” 10 yard split, 38.5” vertical, 9’10” broad and 7.08 3-cone
In the NFL, they have performed at a similar level:
So when Hunter signed a new contract on Wednesday, the bar was set for what Clark’s next contract could look like: five years, $72 million, $40 million in guarantees.
The #Vikings agreed to terms with DE Danielle Hunter on a 5-year, $72M extension, source said. $40M in guarantees. He gets a $15M signing bonus .Big-time money for a budding talent.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 27, 2018
Apparently $48 million of it is coming in the first three years. That most likely means this year is probably a min base salary and just a $3 mil prorated bonus cap hit, so it may only be a $4 million hit this year. Hunter’s average annual value of $14.4 million is right in line with teammate Everson Griffen ($14.5m), putting both in the top five for AAV among 4-3 defensive ends on multi-year deals. (Not counting the franchise tags for Demarcus Lawrence and Ezekiel Ansah that pays them each $17.1m this season.)
It’s an interesting situation because Hunter is a good player, maybe even a great one, but he has yet to enjoy that true breakout campaign that puts him on All-Pro lists, or even a Pro Bowl nod. He’s also still just 23 (24 in October) and it’s fair to say that his current trajectory likely puts him on a path to major stardom. (Or look at Olivier Vernon, who is making $15 million per season, has no Pro Bowls, and hasn’t put up more than nine sacks in a season since 2013, but is still valuable.) And going back to the beginning of this article, you can say the same about Clark.
He just turned 25 and Clark has displayed a skillset that likely puts him on a path to dominance in the future. Perhaps as soon as next season, when he officially becomes the veteran leader and likely most-talented player on the Seahawks defensive line. What will that cost?
Probably at least $72 million.
Also read: Frank Clark’s next deal, now or never?