The Vikings have interest in signing CFL sacks leader Phillip Hunt but that doesn't mean a deal is going to get done.
Among the factors for the defensive end is the threat of an NFL work stoppage. Hunt led the CFL with 16 sacks this past season and does not want to put himself in a position where he signs a deal but then doesn't get paid when the season begins because of a lockout. At this point, a lockout stands to start in early March.
"I want a signing bonus worth enough that me and my family could live off it for the season just in case the NFL goes into a lockout or if things don't pan out and I come back to the CFL during the season," Hunt told the Winnipeg Free Press. "I want to have enough so that my family has some stability. The Bombers are a great safety net for me right now but I can't see myself putting that in jeopardy for an NFL tryout without a signing bonus.
He drew interest from many teams but signed a four-year, $4.9 million deal that included a $1 million signing bonus with the Dolphins in January 2009. Wake, who has moved to outside linebacker in the NFL, had 5.5 sacks in 2009 with the Dolphins but finished third in the NFL this season with 14.
The Vikings likely will need to add depth at defensive end with Ray Edwards and Brian Robison potentially headed for unrestricted free agency, depending on what happens with the collective bargaining agreement.
Asked about the 6-foot-1, 248-pound Hunt at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Vikings coach Leslie Frazier told Viking Update: “We liked his burst and the way he gets off the football. As you know, one of the things that we’re trying to find all the time is pass rushers. He showed a propensity to be able to do that. Not that he’ll be – everybody wants to compare the Canadian guys to Cameron Wake -- but he has some qualities that we think really fit our scheme."