Purple Rumor Mill: Dalton Risner, Veteran CB from Free Agency, UDFA Starter

Could This Dalton
Mark J. Rebilas-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 August 5th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Dalton Risner, Veteran CB from Free Agency, UDFA Starter

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: Dalton Risner met with the Vikings recently, and a free-agent relationship remains on the table.

CB from Free
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings indeed met with Risner to start the week, exciting the franchise’s fans to the utmost because they’re not accustomed to Minnesota getting deep-deep on the offensive line. Risner protects quarterbacks more so than he plows running lanes, so the ex-Denver Bronco would provide a welcome change of pace for the purple team.

But he left Vikings headquarters sans a deal.

Kevin O’Connell spoke about the possibility of adding Risner a few days ago, “We really just wanted to bring him in and get to know him a little bit better, use the process of a visit to do that and see if we could possibly take what we think is a strong group and make it even better.”

So — pretty standard coach-speak.

Sources tell VikingsTerritory that landing Risner is still very much in play — it just didn’t happen right away.

Rumor: Free-agent CB Ronald Darby could soon join the Vikings.

Work out Notable
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota will embark on the 2023 season with one of its least experienced cornerback batches in team history. Perhaps ‘all the young guys’ are sitting on breakout campaigns. Or maybe the unit will play terribly. It’s a guessing game as of early August.

They did meet with Ronald Darby, however, and he has a robust resume of starter’s experience. Like Risner above, though, he left Eagan without a deal. This one is a toss-up, whereas Risner lives in a likelier category of fruition.

And if they don’t sign Darby, well, the CB free-agent market is down to nubbins. It’s Darby, William Jackson, Anthony Brown, a trade — or nobody.

Rumor: Ivan Pace Jr. could win a starting LB job.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

This man turned heads during training camp’s first week for getting action with the second team defensive group.

Fast forward to this week, and Pace Jr. began seeing reps with first-teamers. Lucky for him, the Vikings don’t employ insurmountable types at off-ball linebacker, forecasted to start Jordan Hicks and Brian Asamoah.

Pace Jr. is having a magnificent summer — especially for an undrafted free agent — and could start for the Vikings before too long. It likely won’t happen in Week 1, but Pace is in a marvelous spot right now for long-term trajectory.


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.

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