7 teams Rams must outbid for OLB Danielle Hunter as free agency heats up

Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings
Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings / David Berding/GettyImages
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II: Chicago Bears

Another NFC West Division rival that has been repeatedly named as a suitor for the services of Vikings premier pass rusher Danielle Hunter is the Chicago Bears. And for good reason, as the Bears have witnessed just how devastatingly effective Hunter has been twice a year for the past four seasons:

The Bears have been one of those NFL teams whose trademark has been a very stingy defense, and you can be that they would love nothing better than to reestablish themselves as a top-tier NFL defense once more.

The Bears traded a second-round pick to the Washington Commanders for Edge rusher Montez Sweat, and would love to give him some help by adding Hunter to their defensive front. Both HC Matt Eberflus and GM Ryan Poles understand that it's now or never in terms of making a push for postseason competition. With the likes of a new rookie quarterback this year, their defense will need to carry the load.

I: Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been another team linked to showing interest in adding FA pass rusher Danielle Hunter this offseason. He would join the Jaguars' current pass rushers Josh Allen and Travon Walker, who combined for 27.5 sacks in 2023. Even as they are very close to the 'legal tampering' period that starts on Monday, March 10, the Jacksonville Jaguars still have some window dressing to do to clear cap space.

As of Sunday, March 10, the Jaguars estimated 2024 NFL salary cap space is under $20 million. While the team can clear space, the amount of time to do so is shrinking pretty quickly. Of course, if their front office is sufficiently motivated, they will find the funds to bring Hunter into the fold.

Rams chances in an all-out bidding war

I don't want to dampen spirits, but the LA Rams have not exactly been a strong contender in any free agency all-out bidding war. Hit or miss, the Rams have a disciplined approach that seems to set a no-greater-than limit on any outlays to sign a player. If the player likes the offier, the deal is signed by both sides. But if the player has other options who outbid the team, there seems to be little wiggle-room to renegotiate their offer.

That is not to say that the Rams cannot win the opportunity to sign Danielle Hunter. But after a specific price point is exceeded, such as that of former Rams OLB Von Miller, is there truly value in adding that player? That is up to you to decide.

If the Rams hope to sign FA OLB Danielle Hunter, just understand that there will be a lot of other teams seeking to accomplish the same thing. And if we learned anything from being very disciplined in the 2023 NFL Free Agency market, the first and biggest signings are seldom the best value for the roster.

This week will be very busy with free agency, so buckle up and enjoy the ride. And thank you for reading once more.