Purple Rumor Mill: The Hockenson Deal, Sidney Jones, Cousins in 2023

Purple Rumor Mill: The Hockenson Deal, Sidney Jones, Cousins in 2023
Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Vikings Rumor Mill, November 5th

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 5th 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 gave up a 2nd- and 3rd-Rounder for a non-premium position.

PurplePTSD: HockensonMania, Bears Get WR, Tragedy Strikes
Jul 27, 2022; Detroit, MI, USA; Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson. Mandatory Credit: Junfu Han/ Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY NETWORK.

If the Vikings had traded 2nd- and 3rd-Round picks for Hockenson — and that’s it — yes, this would be true and borderline criminal.

However, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah received two 4th-Rounders back, too, with one as conditional. Effectively, Minnesota traded down two rounds in 2023 and one round in 2024 to grab a Top 10 NFL tight end.

Now, if Kevin O’Connell neglects Hockenson — like the old regime did Chris Herndon — indeed, the deal will look dumb a year from now. But that is severely unlikely to occur.

This was a marvelous deal for the Vikings, and even Lions-themed voices lambasted Detroit for selling Hockenson.

Rumor: Sidney Jones was released by SEA, cleared waivers, and can sign with anybody — including the Vikings.

The Man Vikings Should Target via Trade
September 18, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Sidney Jones IV. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports.

Sidney Jones is a free agent, indeed clearing waivers. And, yes, Minnesota should sign the man for depth. If Patrick Peterson or Cameron Dantzler get injured — that will probably happen at some point — Ed Donatell will turn to Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, or Kris Boyd and hope for the best.

That doesn’t sound like a sound strategy for the NFC’s No. 2 seed, so the franchise should add an extra CB to hedge the bet.

This is Jones’ Pro Football Focus resume:

  • 2017 = 50.7
  • 2018 = 47.5
  • 2019 = 63.5
  • 2020 = 68.1
  • 2021 = 70.2
  • 2022 = 58.3 (limited snaps)

Vikings Rumor Mill (cont.)

Rumor: The Hockenson trade signals that the Vikings will roll with Kirk Cousins again in 2023.

Per PFF, the Vikings Top 2022 Players from Best to Worst: After Week 8
Oct 16, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings 6-1 start — with a side dish of the Hockenson deal — is a signal the team intends to start Cousins in 2023.

Plus, Cousins is under contract next year, and it isn’t an option to get rid of him without oodles of dead cap money. You should want Cousins back next year and hope the team doesn’t feel otherwise.

The only thing(s) that would change the narrative right now is a sudden collapse from the 6-1 record, emulating 2016. Or, if the team got waxed in its first playoff game, like 51-3 or something, then questioning Cousins’ 2023 fate is fair game.

For now, Cousins is the QB1 of a 6-1 football team, and the $35 million pricetag isn’t crazy expensive compared to other NFL quarterbacks.


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).