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Texans Signing Pro Bowl Edge Danielle Hunter To Two-Year Deal

Danielle Hunter is coming home to play for the Houston Texans, agreeing to sign a two-year deal.

Danielle Hunter is coming home to Houston. 

According to reports, the Texans are signing the former Minnesota Vikings defensive end on a two-year deal, worth $49 million deal with $48 million guaranteed. According to KPRC2 Sports, Hunter could make up to $51 million in incentives. 

Hunter, a native of Jamacia who grew up in Katy and played at Morton Ranch High School, expressed interest for a chance to return close to hometown, though it was expected to be for a contract of four or five seasons. In the end, Hunter will make nearly every penny through the 2025 season and could be up for a new deal next offseason with promising results. 

Consider this a switch between the two teams. Houston lost leading sack artist Jonathan Greenard to the Vikings on a four-year $76 million deal on Monday. Hunter was not expected back with the NFC North franchise after the two sides could agree to a long-term deal last offseason. 


Greenard, one of the breakout stars of the 2023 season, finished with a team-leading 12.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss.

Drafted in the third round out of LSU in 2015, Hunter, 29, was coming off his best season after the Vikings hired former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores as defensive coordinator. In 17 games, Hunter totaled 83 tackles, 23 tackles for losses, 22 quarterback hits, and a career-high 16.5 sacks playing back in a 4-3 formation.

From the jump, Hunter stood out as a rotational piece once selected by former general manager Rick Spielman. In two seasons as the secondary pass rusher, he totaled 18.5 sacks before expanding his role in 2017. As a first-year starter, Hunter finished with just 7.5 sacks, but the number doubled to 14.5 over the next two seasons.

A four-time Pro Bowler, Hunter has totaled 87.5 career sacks and 462 tackles with 108 tackles for losses and 134 quarterback hits. He's also 11 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries with two touchdowns.

The Texans were always going to be in the market for a pass-rusher after the turnaround under DeMeco Ryans. Ryans, who helped his former franchise a player win its first division title since 2019, said following the Divisional Round loss to the Baltimore Ravens, they would be looking to make a splash in free agency to pair with a young foundation in place.

"We like where we are with the young nucleus of guys that we have. I feel like we have a good group to build off of, and you still have to add more pieces," Ryans said. "You’re always adding and always looking to acquire talent and get better, and that’s where we’ll look to spend our offseason. Who can we find to help us get better?”

With Houston, Hunter now serves as the anchor of a defensive line headlined by Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr. The Texans also agreed to terms with Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Denico Autry on a two-year, $20 million deal Monday afternoon. 

General manager Nick Caserio continues to cook to for Ryans' defense as Houston looks to defend its division title. Earlier Monday, Houston added former Titans and 49ers linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair to a three-year, $45 million deal

The Texans also agreed to terms with former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jeff Okudah on a one-year deal worth up to $6 million and Cleveland Browns defensive back Mike Ford on a two-year contract

With Hunter's addition, the Texans can pivot elsewhere in the draft with the No. 23 pick. Houston was expected to be in the market for one of the top pass-rushers but potentially could look at either receiver or cornerback. 

On top of everything, Hunter serves as the role model and mentor for Anderson, who broke J.J. Watt and Mario Williams' rookie sack record with seven takedowns last season. By the time Hunter is up for a new deal, so will Anderson.