VikingsTerritory‘s Purple Rumor Mill is a two-day chronicle each week. All the week’s rumors are lassoed and plopped in two spots — articles on Saturday and Sunday — for review. Today is the July 10th edition.
Remember — rumors are rumors. What you read on weekends in these pieces is what the world is talking about pertaining to the Vikings, not necessarily items that will come to fruition.
Rumor: Kirk Cousins and the Vikings got the last laugh on the Carolina Panthers, who reportedly laughed at the Vikings for a Cousins trade proposal.
Once upon a time, the Panthers front office did allegedly laugh at the Vikings for a proposed swap of assets involving Cousins.
Back in March, Jonathan Alexander from the Charlotte Observer reported, “Also, while there were reports that the Panthers inquired about Cousins in Minnesota, two sources said that call never occurred. The coaching staff and front office were actually in a meeting when they heard the news and laughed it off.”
Now, sites like FanSided are running with the idea that Vikings got the last laugh.
The whole story is a bit silly. If this “last laugh” stuff means anything at all, it cannot be adjudicated until Cousins and Baker Mayfield play out a whole season with their new coaches. Sure, if the Vikings light up the NFL and tunnel deep into the playoffs, the Panthers will look dumb in hindsight.
Yet, there’s also a chance for Mayfield to shine in Carolina — for cheap. Like any trade, time is needed to evaluate.
Rumor: Jim Marshall may actually get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Marshall indeed has revived hopes of reaching the Hall of Fame, a group that should welcome him. Twenty-five semifinalists were announced last week.
The Vikings legend ranks 22nd all-time in sacks and never missed a game for Minnesota — like ever. He started 270 games and performed at a high level. That would be like a Vikings rookie this year starting every game until the end of 2037.
Marshall is a three-time All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowler. His longevity and purple-people-eating stats deserve Canton. Vikings fans and pundits have called for this for years, so this would be quite the victory lap for Marshall if it goes through.
Rumor: Kene Nwangwu, not Alexander Mattison, could slide into the team’s RB2 role for 2022.
This one originated from PaulAllen of KFAN, who was a guest on the Vikings YouTube channel. Allen said about Nwangwu possibly over Mattison, “Mattison would be prohibitively favored, but everything is new. So Alex doesn’t roll in and go like, Oh, I know that play. I know that. I know that. I love that. It’s all new, and Kene’s fast. If Kene can catch passes, then he can usurp Alexander.”
Should the Vikings pivot to using running backs as pass-catchers — like a wholesale embrace — Nwangwu would have the edge. He’s faster than Mattison, and the working theory is that Kevin O’Connell will sponsor speed.
However, in college, Nwangwu was not a prolific catcher of the pigskin — he had seven receptions in four years at Iowa State — so this rumor should be filed under the maybe category.
Allen is also high on rookie WR Jalen Nailor.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).