Purple Rumor Mill: Cousins-Niners Fodder, Johnathan Abram, the Big Goon

Purple Rumor Mill: Cousins-Niners Fodder, Johnathan Abram, the Big Goon
Sep 9, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) talks with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings Rumor Mill, October 23rd

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 October 23rd 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 could trade Kirk Cousins to the San Francisco 49ers in the offseason.

Kirk Cousins
Jan 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead (91) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports.

While this rumor permeates the Vikings community every offseason, Cousins-to-Niners started early this year courtesy of Zone Coverage.

San Francisco’s head coach Kyle Shanahan has longstanding ties to and respect for Cousins, and that propelled Chris Schad from Zone Coverage to hypothesize, “After presumably souring on Lance, Shanahan could convince Lynch to make one more push for Cousins, giving the Vikings a godfather deal for his archetypal quarterback. Such a deal wouldn’t be cheap, but perhaps the 49ers wouldn’t care.”

Schad’s idea is unlikely to occur for five reasons:

  1. San Francisco’s front office would have to spend oodles of draft capital on a new player — again not long after tossing picks away for Trey Lance and Christian McCaffrey. The kitchen cupboard is bereft.
  2. Are the Vikings truly unhappy with Cousins after a 5-1 start — of which Cousins has delivered three game-winning drives?
  3. The Vikings are on the hook for over $60 million in dead cap via Cousins’ contract after 2022.
  4. Cousins has a no-trade clause.
  5. Trey Lance is the 49ers QB1 in 2023.

But, this is a warning: Fasten your seatbelt — if the Vikings somehow miss the playoffs or get gutted in Round 1 of the postseason, Cousins trade rumors will heat up per usual.

Rumor: Minnesota should acquire safety Johnathan Abram from the Las Vegas Raiders.

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders safety Johnathan Abram. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Abram to the Vikings has been lightly whispered throughout the week as the NFL’s trade deadline approaches on November 1st.

The soon-to-be 26-year-old was a 1st-Round draft pick in 2019, so folks are more familiar with him than other safeties. However, his career to date is underwhelming, and Abram isn’t much better than Vikings current free safety Camryn Bynum.

Abram has played 94% of the Raiders defensive snaps in 2022 and has a 47.6 Pro Football Focus grade to show for it. No thanks.

Vikings Rumor Mill (cont.)

Rumor: Linval Joseph, the Big Goon, could land with the New York Jets.

Jan 2, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Indeed, the Goon worked out with the New York Jets this week and likely has one or two seasons left in the tank.

The Jets are suddenly relevant with a 4-2 record — their best mark through six games since 2015 — and adding roster depth finally checks out for a team that’s usually bottom-feeding by now.

Joseph played for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020 and 2021, firing up a 68.7 and 63.4 PFF grade, respectively.

He’d be a smart fit in New York as a reservist nose tackle.




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).