Purple Rumor Mill: Clearing Cap Space, 2nd and 4th for Cooks, Anthony Richardson

Purple Rumor Mill: Clearing Cap Space, 2nd and 4th for Cooks, Anthony Richardson
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Vikings Rumor Mill, November 6th

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 November 6th 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 cleared cap space by restructuring Brian O’Neill’s contract because they’re making room for a big move.

Bookends Benefitting Vikings Big Time
Feb 4, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Minnesota Vikings tackle Brian O’Neill. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah converted about $1.9 million of O’Neill’s base salary into a signing bonus, creating $1,495,555 in cap space.

While a “big move” could be on deck, the best bet is for cap maneuverability. The Vikings have been in the cellar for weeks as the NFL’s most cash-strapped team. Wiggling O’Neill’s money around is probably just to tread water.

However, if they do make a noteworthy move, our money is on Ndamukong Suh.

Rumor: Minnesota was interested in Texans WR Brandin Cooks, but the price was too high.

Oct 11, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports.

This one seems credible and correct — the Vikings had feelers out for Cooks, but then T.J. Hockenson became available for a good price, and boom.

A 2nd- and 4th-Rounder was too much to spend on a 29-year-old wide receiver who’s never scored more than 9 touchdowns in a season. We would’ve pulled the trigger on the deal if it was just a 4th-Round pick — but not a 2nd-Rounder, too. No thanks.

If you’ve got beef with Minnesota not spending the draft capital on Cook, just remember the franchise now has Hockenson, and if its smart, will target him about eight times per game like Kelces and Andrews’ of the world.

Vikings Rumor Mill (cont.)

Rumor: Minnesota might take a stab at QB like Anthony Richardson from Florida in Round 1 or 2 next April.

Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson. © Matt Pendleton / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Kirk Cousins will be 35 next summer, so any moves for a youthful succession-plan quarterback are realistic. Folks often believe that every quarterback plays until age 40+ because of what Tom Brady and Drew Brees have done, but those men are really outliers.

It is not normal to thrive around or after age 40. Therefore, if the Vikings select a quarterback next April, even ardent fans of Kirk Cousins shouldn’t be too dismayed.

Let’s hope they find a decent one, though, and not a man they draft from Texas A&M with 3rd-Round draft capital and waive 16 months later.


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).