Purple Rumor Mill: Taking Care of Dalvin, Need for a Guard, Suh Sweepstakes

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 May 20th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Taking Care of Dalvin, Need for a Guard, Suh Sweepstakes

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 are ‘trying to do right by’ Dalvin Cook.

Care of Dalvin
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Right before free agency kicked off — so, over two months ago — the Dalvin Cook trade rumor mill really heated up, with the Miami Dolphins as the leading contender as a trade partner. Then, the Dolphins re-signed all of their 2022 running backs and drafted Texas A&M’s Devon Achane. They do not appear to have a need at RB any longer.

But that doesn’t change Cook’s financial standing with the Vikings, as the 27-year-old is scheduled for a $14.1 million cap hit this season. Plus, Minnesota employs running backs Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, and rookie DeWayne McBride. The club probably doesn’t need five carry-needy halfbacks.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said last weekend on SportsCenter, “Dalvin Cook’s future has been sort of open-ended recently. I was told from a source that the Vikings want to do right by Dalvin Cook. Right now, they’re willing to hold on to his cap hit of around $14 million until they figure this all out.”

And it would make the Vikings ‘want to do right by’ Cook. He’s beloved. Cook took over for Adrian Peterson in 2017 — a mighty assignment — and hasn’t disappointed. He’s also a team leader and ‘locker room guy.’

Indeed, perhaps the ‘hold up’ is getting Cook to a new home of his choosing, whether via trade or release.

Rumor: Minnesota needs to — and might — add an extra offensive guard.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings have four offensive guards at the moment — Ezra Cleveland, Ed Ingram, Chris Reed, and Alan Ali. At the current 90-man roster threshold, most NFL teams have six.

That’s why Pro Football Focus suggested this week that the Vikings sign free-agent OG Oday Aboushi. PFF‘s Brad Spielberger advanced the theory this week, “Minnesota was able to secure one of the top wide receivers in the 2023 NFL Draft even after standing pat at No. 23 overall, bringing aboard USC product Jordan Addison, who could be the No. 2 wide receiver on the depth chart as early as Week 1. Question marks remain in their secondary and on the interior of the defensive line, but not due to a lack of recent draft picks and free-agent additions, so they probably just need to let things play out on a new-look defense.”

Here’s Aboushi’s PFF resume:

  • 2013: DNP
  • 2014: 71.7
  • 2015: 53.6
  • 2016: 66.6
  • 2017: 52.6
  • 2018: 63.7
  • 2019: 57.7
  • 2020: 66.6
  • 2021: 68.2
  • 2022: 65.2

Aboushi, 31, last played for the Los Angeles Rams. He joined the club right after Kevin O’Connell departed Los Angeles with a Super Bowl ring to become the Vikings head coach. Aboushi played in 13 Rams games last year, starting 4 and tabulating 339 offensive snaps. In 10 NFL seasons, he’s participated in 85 games with 51 starts.

It may not be Aboushi specifically, but the Vikings should — and probably will — add one more veteran guard, especially if injuries arise. Watch for it.

Dalton Risner, Rodger Saffold, Gabe Jackson, and Jesse Davis, among others, are also available.

Rumor: It won’t happen soon, but the Vikings could end up signing Ndamukong Suh.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

This was all the rage last year and could follow suit in 2023.

Suh told NFL Total Access Monday, “I have no desire to be in a training camp. I will come in and watch and look and give some advice, but when Week 1 happens, I’ll be ready.”

So, he won’t be signing anywhere early this summer — it took until midseason in 2022 — but the Vikings will be a name to watch in the Suh sweepstakes. Last June, USA Today’s Tyler Dragon tweeted, “There is mutual interest between the Raiders and Ndamukong Suh, per a source. Another team to keep an eye on is the Vikings. The Raiders and Vikings have both had multiple conversations with the free-agent DT.”

It never materialized for Suh with the Vikings or Raiders, instead joining the Philadelphia Eagles. But we shall see if he turns purple this year. The Vikings arguably have a run-stopping need on the defensive line after Davlin Tomlinson vamoosed to Cleveland.

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 Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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