The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension with Danielle Hunter , making him one of the top 10 highest-paid defensive ends in the NFL while securing another core player before he could reach free agency. | Forum

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 The deal, which was done on Wednesday, is worth up to $72 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract who spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms weren't disclosed by the team.The deal includes $40 million in guaranteed money, with a $15 million signing bonus. The annual average worth is more than $14 million, on par with fellow Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen."I had to get this out of the way," Hunter said, acknowledging relief to have signed before training camp. "I didn't want to be bothered by anything."Hunter has 25陆 sacks, three forced fumbles and two recovered fumbles in three seasons, after being drafted in the third round in 2015 out of LSU. Still only 23 years old, Hunter was a top priority to retain at a premium position. Griffen is 30, and primary backup Brian Robison is 35."Just looking forward to getting him locked in and what he's going to continue to bring not only to this defense and this football team, but also the type of character that he brings," general manager Rick Spielman said.Over those past three seasons, Hunter and Griffen have combined for 57 sacks Youth Randy Bullock Jersey , the second most by a pair of teammates in the league behind Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap of the Cincinnati Bengals (58).The pass rush and run defense provided by these bookends has been a significant part of coach Mike Zimmer's unit that gave up the fewest points and yards in the NFL last season."We build a bond together on defense," Hunter said. "We go out there, we know we're brothers. We fight together. We do our assignments. On and off the field we're really, really close.Hunter was third in the NFL with 12陆 sacks in 2016, the most by a defensive end. Born in Jamaica and raised just outside of Houston, the 6-foot-5, 252-pound Hunter was a classic late bloomer the Vikings targeted with confidence he'd continue to develop with the right coaching to complement his measurable physical skills. Spielman and his scouts have been proven right with that pick."I kind of came in with the mindset of just playing football. I had a whole bunch of people in front of me, older guys that were able to show me the way, good coaches and a good coaching staff," Hunter said. "The only thing I could do is just come in here and focus and play football."The Vikings extended middle linebacker Eric Kendricks earlier this offseason. Outside linebacker Anthony Barr and wide receiver Stefon Diggs are their other two standouts on expiring contracts, with space under the salary cap dwindling. Signing both of them to new long-term deals might not be possible.They're plenty happy to at least have Hunter around well into the next decade, though. According to statistics compiled by Vikings coaches, Hunter also has 125 quarterback hurries and 147 total tackles. He has never missed an NFL game to injury, with his only two absences coming in 2015 when he was on the inactive list in the first month of his rookie year."It's all about keep continuing to improve my game. I've got to go out there and do what the coaches tell me to do. Now that I have this I can't relax," Hunter said. "I have to keep pounding and grinding." The Bengals are set to take on the Saints on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium Womens Hardy Nickerson Jersey , and neither the oddsmakers nor experts have too much faith in Cincinnati. Considering New Orleans just beat the unstoppable Rams, and Cincinnati backed into their bye week going 1-2 in the three weeks prior, it’s clear that the Bengals will have to embrace the underdog role this week.Making things worse is that the team will be without A.J. Green as he deals with a toe injury.OddsThe Bengals are currently six-point underdogs, according to Bovada. The one thing that probably helped the Bengals not be bigger underdogs is the fact they will be playing at home in a cold weather game against a dome team in the Saints.The total for the game is set at 54 points, which for games that quarterback Drew Brees plays in, isn’t out of the ordinary. The Saints have a high octane offense led by Brees, but the cold winds from playing next to the Ohio River in November could slow down their passing attack. The Bengals being without Green will really hurt their offensive prospects despite playing one of the worst defenses in the NFL, but New Orleans’ passing defense is not much of a threat.Trends for both teams:Cincinnati is 2-4 against the spread in its last six gamesCincinnati is 7-3 straight up in its last 10 gamesThe total has gone over in six of Cincinnati’s last nine gamesCincinnati is 4-1 straight up in its last five games at homeCincinnati is 5-0 against the spread in its last five games when playing New OrleansCincinnati is 4-1 straight up in its last five games when playing New OrleansThe total has gone under in 5 of Cincinnati’s last seve games when playing New OrleansNew Orleans is 5-0 against the spread in its last five gamesNew Orleans is 5-0 straight up in its last five gamesNew Orleans is 5-0 against the spread in its last five games on the roadNew Orleans is 4-1 straight up in its last five games on the roadNew Orleans is 0-5 against the spread in its last five games when playing CincinnatiNew Orleans is 1-4 straight up in its last five games when playing CincinnatiThe total has gone under in five of New Orleans’s last seven games when playing CincinnatiExperts’ picksFox sports is projecting a 26.1-22.3 victory for the SaintsOnly one of ESPN’s experts went with the BengalsOne of SB Nation’s seven experts took CincinnatiTwo experts chose the Bengals for CBS SportsNFL Pick Watch, which takes into account picks from across the web, only has the Bengals receiving six percent of the picks against the Saints.It is pretty clear why the Bengals are such big underdogs. The Saints are fresh off a statement game where they handed the Rams their first loss of the season. Meanwhile, the Bengals have yet to prove they can beat any of the actual contenders this season. The season is full of chances for the Bengals to show the belong, though. A win this week would go a long way to changing the perspective of this team for the rest of the season.