5 edge rushers the Detroit Lions should pursue in free agency

The Detroit Lions need an edge rusher to pair with Aidan Hutchinson, and these 5 free agents could be on their radar.

Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Danielle Hunter

For a few years now, the Minnesota Vikings have hesitated to give Hunter a long-term contract more in line with his status as one of the top edge rushers in the league. Missing the entire 2020 season and 10 games in 2021 has not been helpful on that front, but Hunter is hitting the market off a 16.5 sack season in 2023 and he has played all 17 games in back-to-back seasons.

The most recent report suggested the Vikings have "made an effort" to re-sign Hunter. But ESPN's Jeremy Fowler also reported, within the same piece, that Hunter is looking for a new deal worth at more than $20 million per year. That may push the Vikings out of keeping him, and multiple teams (Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Giants, etc.) have been specifically mentioned as possible suitors.

$20 million a year may look a little rich for the Lions to sign someone entering his age-30 season. But it can be structured, over two or three years, to not create untenable cap hits for 2024 and beyond. And the Lions would also weaken a divisional rival by taking away their best pass rusher.

The Lions were at or near the top in virtually every pass rush metric last season, except for sacks of course. Hunter knows how to finish around the quarterback, and that's enough to put him on the radar in Detroit.