Purple Rumor Mill: Vikings Docuseries, Eli Apple, Hitman Snub

Jan 29, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple (20) reacts during the first half of the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-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 July 16th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Vikings Docuseries, Eli Apple, Hitman Snub

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

Rumor: The Vikings will be featured in an extensive docuseries.

Aug 12, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A detailed view of the Minnesota Vikings logo on a helmet in a preseason NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium. The Vikings won 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Why, yes, this one is cool — and true.

VOX Media announced this development last week, and the seven-part series will be broadcast on YouTube beginning August 1st.

The New York Times noted about the program, “If you are a football fan, and especially a Vikings fan, you’ll be just as amazed to witness all the pieces of this team’s history and identity come together.”

‘Dorktown,’ featuring Jon Bois and Alex Rubenstein of SB Nation, are the proprietors.

You can watch it on YouTube. It reportedly showcases the wild moments in Vikings history, of which there are many.

Rumor: Eli Apple could be a free-agent option for the 2023 Vikings.

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple (20) is walked off the field for an injury in the second quarter during an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. © Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Bleacher Report is responsible for this one — and is basically just an ‘idea.’

Minnesota arguably needs more cornerback experience, and Apple, a free agent, could theoretically provide it.

BR‘s Maurice Moton nominated free-agent fits for Apple, 27, and the Vikings topped his list. Moton explained, “Aside from the Cardinals, who have needs all over their roster, the Vikings are an ideal fit for Apple. Minnesota has safety Harrison Smith, who still has sideline-to-sideline range in coverage. Assuming Byron Murphy Jr. primarily mans the slot, Minnesota needs an experienced boundary defender following the loss of Patrick Peterson in free agency.”

Apple isn’t a total showstopper, but he does have ample experience. This one should be filed under the maybe category for realism.

Rumor: ESPN + NFL executives snubbed Harrison Smith in Top 10 voting.

Another Stunning
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) looks on before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

From a hodgepodge of NFL execs, coaches, and scouts, ESPN ranked the Top 10 current safeties in the business last week, and Smith was omitted.

It’s worth noting that the pecking order didn’t tabulate any lifetime achievement, so it’s up to you to decide if Smith is a Top 10 safety in the here and now. Amid the last decade, of course, Smith is a Top 10er and probably a Top 2er.

According to Pro Football Focus, Smith was the league’s 37th-best safety in 2022.

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.