Purple Rumor Mill: The Fake KOC Conspiracy, Chase Young, Brakes Pumped on Danielle Hunter

Brad Mills-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 October 28th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: The Fake KOC Conspiracy, Chase Young, Brakes Pumped on Danielle Hunter

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: Kevin O’Connell tried to milk the system on Monday Night Football, according to the announcers.

Fake KOC
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

During the 2nd Quarter of the Vikings Monday Night Football win over the San Francisco 49ers when Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson was briefly injured, Kevin O’Connell told his playmaker to stay down on the turf. MNF broadcaster Joe Buck seized on the event and said, “We just caught Kevin O’Connell, on camera, saying ‘T.J., go down.'”

Buck’s boothmate and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman chimed in, “Buy them some time.”

The pair seemed to hint that the Vikings were up to no good, implying O’Connell was playing tricks on the referees to milk the Hockenson injury — which didn’t make too much sense as it all happened in the middle of the 2nd Quarter.

But after the game, O’Connell explained the transaction to reporters, “Yeah, it was more so about if he is coming out, similar to what you guys saw when we took a delay in a game earlier this year. When a guy comes on or comes off late, we are pretty meticulous about what personnel is on the field and what we’re going to call with those guys on the game. Just allows us a chance to reset.”

Buck’s use of the word “caught” insinuated O’Connell was acting nefariously and attempting to manipulate the system. In reality, conspiracy theories aside, O’Connell wanted to avoid a delay of game infraction or an illegal amount of players on the field.

“He was injured, so I credit all of our guys’ toughness, but sometimes, depending on the time of the game and situation of the game where the clock really is not an issue, he was able to come back in the game from that, which was really impressive,” O’Connell added.

It was a manufactured controversy that meant nothing.

Rumor: The Vikings could chase Chase Young at the NFL’s trade deadline.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

If Minnesota hits a 4-4 record by next Monday or feels like it can still contend at 3-5 after a loss, it can get frisky and inquire about Washington Commanders pass rusher Chase Young.

Young is firmly situated in the NFL’s trade rumor mill and could be gettable by a contending team on or before Halloween. In April, Washington declined Young’s fifth-year rookie contract option, setting up a pivotal 2024 climax.

Yet, for the right price, a team can take the plunge on Young now before the trade deadline and make the decision on his future — probably a contract extension — when the 2023 season ends.

Young was the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the same event that netted Justin Jefferson for the Vikings. In four seasons, Young has played in 33 games, starting 31, and has recorded 26 QB hits, 19 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles. He’s battled injuries along the way, so his trade value isn’t quite as high as most onlookers might surmise.

Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz recently mentioned that Washington’s asking price for Young would be a 2nd- or 3rd-Rounder, and if that is accurate, the Vikings and several NFL teams should think about taking the plunge. The man has the talent, and the upside is worth it.

If that’s the price, the Vikings should absolutely grab Young, pairing him with Hunter on the Vikings EDGEs for the foreseeable future.

The only problem? This is just a theory for now. There is no evidence to suggest the Vikings are interested in Young. But they oughta pick up the phone.

Rumor: With the Vikings now inhabiting a temporary playoff spot, Danielle Hunter is unlikely to be traded.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

Hunter was never likely to be traded in the first place.

He turns 29 on Sunday, the day the Vikings travel to Lambeau Field for a date with the Green Bay Packers. Hunter is not old, especially by EDGE rusher’s standards.

Trading him — or contemplating trading him — was a national NFL media ordeal, pegging the Vikings for a fire sale if losing continued. Well, the losing stopped, Minnesota lives in the NFC’s No. 7 seed as of October 28th, and the Vikings could actually be buyers at the league’s deadline on Tuesday.

Hunter won’t be traded, and in fact, he could be extended in February or March. He said this summer that he wants to “be a Viking for life.”


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.

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