Purple Rumor Mill: Make-or-Break for Cousins, Troubled Salary Cap, Wyatt Davis on an Active Roster

Purple Rumor Mill: Make-or-Break for Cousins, Troubled Salary Cap, Wyatt Davis on an Active Roster
Feb 4, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-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 September 11th 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 2022 season is ‘make-or-break’ for Kirk Cousins.

Vikings Pro Bowlers Go to Familiar Location in 2023
Jan 23, 2020; Kissimmee, Florida, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Like Mike Zimmer last year, 2022 is indeed a litmus test for Cousins. The Vikings cannot miss the postseason again and afford to enter 2023 with Cousins as QB1 in good faith.

Of course, there are varying vibes to a season, so a 9-8 but postseason-less campaign with a first-year head coach “trending the right way” could occur. Yet, Cousins taking the team to the playoff just once in five tries is not a good look.

Cousins is under contract through the end of next year, meaning he’s committed to the Vikings beyond this O’Connell maiden voyage. But if Minnesota doesn’t visit the postseason, we expect Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to draft a quarterback in April and conduct an expensive patchover with Cousins.

Starting today, 2022 is indeed a make-or-break gauntlet for the quarterback.

Rumor: The Vikings are in dire shape for the salary cap.

The Spoils of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's 10 Trades
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell

For now, yes, this one is correct. Minnesota has about $2 million in cap space — or the fifth-least in the NFL.

Next year, the slack loosens a bit as the Vikings are in “11th-worst” shape for 2023 salary-cap standing. However, a lot of money is tied up in Cousins and Danielle Hunter, and dispatching just one of them away from the roster would solve the problem.

And in 2024, the cap is basically solved based on how the books look on September 11th, 2022.

Adofo-Mensah can’t sign anyone now via hefty asking price without restructuring the contracts of Eric Kendricks or Dalvin Cook.

Rumor: Wyatt Davis is on the New Orleans Saints active roster and could play.

Wyatt Davis Has New NFL Home
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Wyatt Davis. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Davis is the LG2 behind Andrus Peat in New Orleans. He could play today if Peat got hurt.

New Orleans loves Ohio State Buckeyes — they have seven on roster — so Davis is nestled on the Saints depth chart, just one spot away from playing time. He spent about a week on the New York Giants practice squad after he was released by the Vikings on August 30th.

He’ll always be a curious case for Vikings fans, selected with such high hopes — but floundering and lacking playing time.

Thankfully for the Vikings, Ed Ingram seems poised to soften any Davis-related “what could have been’s.”

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).

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

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