Purple Rumor Mill: Sam Howell as the QB, Vikings in London, Trading Up Instead of Down

Nov 11, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell (7) looks to the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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 April 24th 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: The Vikings are interested in Sam Howell as a 1st-Round pick.

Dec 30, 2021; Charlotte, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell (7) keeps the ball on a run for yards against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

This is false. The idea was borne from Twitter accounts committed to parody and nonsense.

Theoretically, Minnesota could draft Howell in Rounds 2 or 3 — hedging bets at quarterback for the future — but even that is unlikely. Howell has a wonderful arm and could become a marvelous quarterback somewhere.

But this is all basically Kellen-Mond-in-March-2021 chatter about Howell eventually being any good. Maybe he will blossom, maybe he won’t.

The Vikings won’t choose him in Round 1.

Rumor: The Vikings will play a game in London this season.

Oct 29, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) celebrates after scoring on an 18-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns during an NFL International Series game at Twickenham Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This rumor has credibility. The Vikings would play the New Orleans Saints in England, according to the rumor.

Minnesota hasn’t played in London for five years, and the franchise is generally receptive to the invitation.

We’ll know on May 4th if this one is true. The chatter on this was substantiated by a columnist in New Orleans, Jeff Duncan.

Rumor: Kwesi Adofo-Mensah might actually trade up — not down.

Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Coby Bryant (7) congratulates Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Ahmad Gardner (1) on a sack in the second quarter during the American Athletic Conference championship football game, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. Houston Cougars At Cincinnati Bearcats Aac Championship Dec 4

Well, anything can happen with a new general manager, but we’d be flabbergasted if Kwesi Adofo-Mensah trades up.

Trading up for a non-quarterback is usually considered silly, and for an analytics-based brain like Adofo-Mensah’s, trading back seems more sensical. There’s more value in trading down. Adofo-Mensah endorses value about once a week when he speaks to reporters.

We don’t see a trade-up. A trade down? Sure.

The rumor about trading up has been hinted at by KFAN‘s Paul Allen.


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).