Purple Rumor Mill: Danielle Hunter Trade, Cousins + Jets, Brian O’Neill Prognosis

Hunting Hunter
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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 15th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Danielle Hunter Trade, Cousins + Jets, Brian O’Neill Prognosis

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.

Here’s the first batch of the week.

Rumor: The Vikings could trade Danielle Hunter during the 2023 NFL Draft.

How Can the Vikings Beat
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Hunter’s contract needs attention, as he’s finally winding down the team-friendly deal signed with Rick Spielman five years ago.

And, yes, some folks believe that involves a possible trade rather than an extension. The Viking Age’s Chris Schad wrote this week, “It’s unclear what Hunter’s trade value could be but perhaps last year’s trade that sent Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers could be a starting point. If the Vikings can get a haul similar to the second and sixth-round picks the Chicago Bears got in that deal, it might get it done. This could be especially attractive considering the Vikings don’t have a second-round pick after trading for T.J. Hockenson last October.”

On the whole, however, a Hunter trade is unlikely.

According to KSTP’s Darren Wolfson, who appeared on the Mackey & Judd Show Wednesday, Hunter is a defensive centerpiece for the upcoming season, “I did hear that Brian Flores is really really pumped up to coach Danielle; that Danielle, it’s mutual, is pumped up to play under Brian Flores.”

“So, do the Vikings find a way to give him some sort of bump, extend him? I think that will play out come May and June, maybe into July,” Wolfson added.

Minnesota probably won’t trade the guy beloved by the new defensive bossman.

Rumor: If Aaron Rodgers + New York Jets trade talks die, Kirk Cousins could land with the Jets.

Brian O
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

Another colossal longshot, mainly because the Packers-Jets deal should culminate before too long, there’s evidently a world where Cousins joins the Jets as New York’s contingency plan.

Cousins is only under contract through the end of 2023, so if the Jets needed someone not named Aaron Rodgers, folks believe Cousins could be for sale.

SBNation’s James Dator floated the idea this week, spitballing a Cousins-Jets trade, “Meanwhile the Jets are a team who shouldn’t be slept on. New York pushed all their chips to the middle in this gambit for Aaron Rodgers, and right now things aren’t going well. The sides can’t agree on compensation, with the Packers knowing they’re in the power position right now. It’s resulted in the Jets missing out on any potential free agent QB, and building an entire roster to win now, without the passer to show for it.”

Dator continued, claiming Cousins “might be the best the Jets have to hope for if a trade with Green Bay goes belly up. Whether its future draft assets, or a wild deal involving Zach Wilson, there is a chance here for the Vikings to ask for substantially less than Green Bay might put the Jets through the ringer for, but still set themselves up better for the future.”

Anything is possible during an NFL draft, but you should fully expect Cousins to quarterback the Vikings for at least one more season.

Rumor: Brian O’Neill’s injury recovery timetable is flourishing.

A Vikings Stalwart
Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson said recently that O’Neill’s injury recovery is “ahead of schedule” and that the offensive lineman is “out of his boot, trending to be ready for start of camp.”

And the Vikings coaching staff has echoed a similar sentiment since his Achilles injury in January.

Like Lewis Cine, O’Neill’s recovery has been all smiles from the beginning — wonderful news for a Vikings team hoping to contend for the postseason once again.

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 Sal Spice. His Viking obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.