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Veteran Robison ready to make room for sack leader Hunter

MINNEAPOLIS--Brian Robison seems ready to pass the torch to Danielle Hunter. Robison, 33, has been with the Vikings since 2007 and a starting defensive end since 2011. But there now likely needs to be a spot cleared for Hunter, who had a team-hig...

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) scrambles away from Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison (96) in the second quarter of the Dec. 24, 2016, matchup at Lambeau Field. Photo by Benny Sieu / USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) scrambles away from Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison (96) in the second quarter at Lambeau Field last month. Photo by Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS-Brian Robison seems ready to pass the torch to Danielle Hunter.

Robison, 33, has been with the Vikings since 2007 and a starting defensive end since 2011. But there now likely needs to be a spot cleared for Hunter, who had a team-high 12.5 sacks in his second season.

"He's probably done enough to earn a starting position next year,'' Robison said Monday. "I'm very proud of him. He's done a lot of great work.''

Hunter had a half-sack in Sunday's 38-10 season-ending victory over Chicago, giving him the most for Minnesota since Jared Allen's record 22 in 2011.

If Hunter moves into the starting lineup next season, he would not take the spot of defensive end Everson Griffen, a Pro Bowl selection the past two seasons.

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"Here's the thing," Robison said about possibly being a backup. "At the end of the day, I'm worried about wins and losses, so I'm willing to do whatever is going to help the team win. Obviously, it's up to the coaches. ... I think when you look at what Danielle has done, he's earned the right or at least earned the shot at the starting position."

Robison said he thinks he had one of his best seasons in 2016, but it remains to be seen if the Vikings will keep him. He is under contract for a big salary-cap number - $6.6 million for 2017 - and might have to renegotiate his deal to return.

"We'll see," Robison said. "That's something that I'll have to sit down and talk with my family (about), and if that happens, that will be a conversation we have down the road. Right now, I'm just getting ready to relax, go home, get some fishing in and get back to training here pretty soon."

Robison isn't wasting any time with the fishing. Before Sunday's finale, with the Vikings eliminated from the playoffs, he signed up to compete in the Anglers Quest Tournament next weekend on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in his native Texas.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
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