Purple Rumor Mill: Lamar Jackson’s Availablity, Cine Seen, Flores Changes 2023 Offseason

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Lamar Jackson celebrates at midfield as his jersey number is officially retired Saturday afternoon at halftime of the U of L and Syracuse game. Nov. 13, 2021. © Alton Strupp/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK.

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 February 12th 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.

Purple Rumor Mill: Lamar Jackson’s Availablity, Cine Seen, Flores Changes 2023 Offseason

Here’s the second batch of the week. Yesterday’s can be read here.

Rumor: Lamar Jackson could be traded by the Ravens, and the Vikings could inquire.

Cine Seen
Dejected Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) against the Miami Dolphins during an NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium Thursday in Miami Gardens. © BILL INGRAM /THE PALM BEACH POST / USA TODAY NETWORK.

There is absolutely no reason to believe the Vikings would trade for Lamar Jackson, especially as the club prepares to dole out fat contracts to Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson. Any Jackson-to-Minnesota theories are fan-driven and speculative.

But NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero mentioned the Jackson situation just one day before the Super Bowl, “The Baltimore Ravens will place the franchise tag on quarterback Lamar Jackson if the sides cannot agree to a long-term deal in the coming weeks — and there is a possibility other teams could tempt Baltimore to trade the former NFL MVP for a windfall of draft picks.”

And even if the Vikings wanted Jackson, they’d have to hope Baltimore wanted Kirk Cousins in their run-first offense, as Minnesota’s current QB1 is under contract through the end of next year — at a hefty price tag. He also has a no-trade clause.

The whole thing likely isn’t happening.

Rumor: Lewis Cine is recovering well and should be ready for 2023.

The Vikings Have Oodles of Needs in Next Year's Draft
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Cine broke his leg in London against the New Orleans Saints five months ago and looks fabulous in recovery.

https://twitter.com/LewisCine/status/1622683862282211350?s=20&t=zyv3-gTvjAWrEL-xms0eZg

There were a few fears in the immediacy of the injury that his career trajectory could be altered because the fracture was so gruesome. Cine is well on the way to recovery, however, and should be expected back when the 2023 regular season begins.

The Vikings defense lacked speed in 2022, and that characteristic is Cine’s modus operandi. It was a total bummer to lose the man for nearly a full season in his rookie year, but he’ll be welcomed back soon with open arms.

Rumor: Various Vikings defenders are now more likely to stay this offseason because of Brian Flores’ arrival.

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores in Miami Gardens, September 15, 2019. © Allen Eyestone via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

Had the Vikings wound up with an unproven defensive coordinator, like a man in his first year on the job, perhaps the defense would’ve undergone a bit of a rebuild.

But the Flores hire signifies the Vikings are “in it to win it” once again, so some players who could’ve left in free agency or via trade will likely stay. The probability of Harrison Smith, Za’Darius Smith, and Danielle Hunter remaining on the roster increased when a proven commodity like Flores was hired to run the show. Linebacker Eric Kendricks may even stay.

The Flores hire was marvelous, and fans will see just how much Ed Donatell’s system was “to blame” for the Vikings 2022 defensive shortcomings.


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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