Purple Rumor Mill: Harrison Smith’s Future, Extra Draft Pick, Injured Players’ Status

The Vikings Final Injury Report: Week 14
Rich Storry-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 March 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: Harrison Smith’s Future, Extra Draft Pick, Injured Players’ Status

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

Rumor: Harrison Smith was approached to take a paycut and will be released if he declines.

Extra Draft Pick
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

VikingsWire’s Judd Zulgad tweeted Friday, “A new Scoop with Darren Wolfson to be posted today on SKOR North — Lead Vikings note was that as of noon it appeared to be trending toward Harrison Smith being released. As Doogie said, it’s very fluid and there have been ongoing talks, but the Vikings brass isn’t playing around.”

Minnesota is reportedly asking Smith to take a significant pay reduction, so he must decide to accept or hit free agency. Smith turned 34 last month and likely has only one or two seasons left in the league.

He must choose to oblige the Vikings desires or finish his career elsewhere. His future in purple is a true coinflip.

Rumor: The Vikings have an extra draft pick after the NFL’s compensatory pick process.

Vikings Going Down
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Because Tyler Conklin departed for the New York Jets last offseason, the Vikings received a compensatory 6th-Round pick for his exit. And the news was welcomed because general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah only had four draft picks until the compensatory announcement. Now, he has five.

The San Francisco 49ers were incredibly allotted seven compensatory picks, which is marvelous and obscene. They received an entire draft class — on top of their existing picks — on a Thursday afternoon. Not bad.

Rumor: The Vikings main three injured players are on track for 2023.

Lewis Cine Pitched a Shutout vs. Lions. And Not in a Good Way.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell told reporters this week that right tackle Brian O’Neill, safety Lewis Cine, and cornerback Andrew Booth are trending to be ready for Week 1. None have suffered recovery setbacks.

The Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson tweeted Thursday, “Vikings provided updates today on injured players. Tackle Brian O’Neill (torn Achilles) is expected to be ready for training camp. Safety Lewis Cine (fractured lower leg) could do some work in OTAs in late May. CB Andrew Booth (knee) is likely limited in spring.”

The news was vital because all three should play an essential role on the 2023 roster, especially O’Neill and Cine, who are penciled in as starters — O’Neill for sure, probably for Cine.

Booth is the wildcard because he really wasn’t a starter in 2022. But a contributing Booth seems required with the Vikings current skimpy CB depth.


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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