Purple Rumor Mill: Danielle Hunter to a Rival, Kyle Rudolph in Eagan, Dalvin Cook Back in Purple?

Jun 7, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) performs a drill during mandatory mini camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-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 June 17th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Purple Rumor Mill: Danielle Hunter to a Rival, Kyle Rudolph in Eagan, Dalvin Cook Back in Purple?

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: Danielle Hunter could end up with the Saints or Bears if traded by Minnesota.

Hunter to a
Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) on the sidelines against the Kansas City Chiefs before the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton theorized five big NFL trades this summer, and Hunter-to-Saints was the latest and greatest suggestion at the bottom of the list. He suggested Hunter to New Orleans for a 2024 2nd-Round pick and DE Payton Turner.

“Though Hunter has proved he’s worth a big-money deal with at least 10.5 sacks in three of the last four seasons, he may not get a lucrative extension offer from the current Vikings’ front office. Though this move would hurt the Vikings defense in the short term, the club may continue to move on from veterans close to or older than 30 years old — in this case for an early-round pick and a younger player. Hunter will turn 29 years old in October,” Moton opined.

Then, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones plopped Hunter in Chicago, at least in theory, on Friday, “On the Bears: They absolutely have to find another pass rusher. Yannick Ngakoue is a player who would make a lot of sense there if the numbers are right. And Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has shown he has no fear about trading within the division, so perhaps Danielle Hunter could land with a division rival.”

Any Hunter trade ideas are merely rumors at the moment. The outside linebacker wants a contract extension in Minnesota, and if the Vikings don’t want to spend $20-25 million on Hunter, he could be traded this summer.

On the whole, a trade to the Saints or Bears is unlikely.

Rumor: Kyle Rudolph was in Eagan this week — but why?

Kyle Rudolph Chooses the NFC's Super Bowl Frontrunner
Nov 17, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) looks on before the start of a game against the Denver Broncos at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports.

Now a 33-year-old free agent, Rudolph curiously had lunch with O’Connell Tuesday, evidenced by Rudolph’s Instagram. The tight end and his son joined the Vikings skipper for a chat.

Rudolph posted a picture of himself and his son, Henry, Tuesday and captioned, “I think 4 year olds can take free agency visits right!? Henry liked what he saw from the team today, had a great conversation with KOC over lunch and we will evaluate his options as summer progresses.”

Here’s the full post:

The lunch date could just be camaraderie for Rudolph with his old team. But here’s the weird part — Rudolph has never played on a Vikings team coached by O’Connell or generally managed by Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. He’s a product of the Leslie Frazier and Mike Zimmer brands of Vikings.

Perhaps Rudolph is angling to retire with the Vikings sometime soon. A one-day contract would do the trick.

Rumor: Kirk Cousins wants Dalvin Cook back.

Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and running back Dalvin Cook (4) in action during the game against the New York Jets at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Cousins floated the never-before-heard theory Wednesday. He suggested Cook could return to the Vikings if Cook’s free agency were disappointing. “I’m excited to see where he goes, I’ll always be pulling for him, and I’m kind of optimistically hoping maybe we get him back,” Cousins told reporters.

Cousins concluded, “Who knows? Maybe there is an outside chance. We’ll see.”

This would be quite strange and probably isn’t happening. Cook would have to determine his value on the open market is next to nothing and crawl back to Minnesota on a dinker deal — unlikely.

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.