Purple Rumor Mill: Latest Cousins Trade Theory, Ingram Starting, J.C. Jackson

NFL: New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings
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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 7th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Latest Cousins Trade Theory, Ingram Starting, J.C. Jackson

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: The New England Patriots, not the New York Jets, are the most logical trade destination if Minnesota offloads Kirk Cousins.

Dec 13, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) drops back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings are unlikely to trade Kirk Cousins — it’s not their style to quit on a season and tank — but after a win last weekend in Carolina, plus another loss by the New York Jets, a new theoretical destination emerged for the rumors: New England.

Bleacher Report ran with theory, suggesting Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could ship Cousins to Foxborough for a 2nd-Round and 4th-Round pick.

“With the most cap space available of any team in 2024, the Patriots have the finances to give Kirk Cousins an extension to be their starting quarterback for several years. Mac Jones doesn’t look to be the answer right now for head coach Bill Belichick, and losing simply doesn’t exist in the DNA of the future Hall of Famer,” BR’s Ryan Fowler explained.

The Patriots also swung a trade for Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson in real-life Wednesday, a reunion deal for a defender with a fat contract.

Fowler continued, “With a similar skill set to that of Jones — both make their money inside of structure —Cousins’ transition period could be seamless within Bill O’Brien’s offense. The Vikings drafted former BYU signal-caller Jaren Hall on Day 3 this spring. He isn’t Cousins, but trading Cousins would free up money and allow him to showcase if he could be the guy moving forward.”

Minnesota shifting to Jaren Hall at any point in the 2023 season would suggest the team was undeniably “mailing it in” and perhaps tanking for the Caleb Williams sweepstakes.

Fowler concluded about the Hall-as-QB1 idea, “If he isn’t, Minnesota would have New England’s second-rounder (and its own first-round pick) to potentially grab a quarterback in the position-rich 2024 draft.”

Cousins has a no-trade clause, the major hiccup for any trade idea. The man is known for meticulous and methodical study of the playbook, so it is unclear if he’d waive the clause to start fresh elsewhere in the middle of a season.

Rumor: Ed Ingram will start in Week 5 at right guard despite nearly three weeks of Dalton Risner on the roster.

Ingram Starting
Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Ed Ingram (67) defends against Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Vernon Butler (94) in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling tweeted Friday, two days before Vikings-Chiefs, “The Vikings are planning to have Garrett Bradbury back at center on Sunday after he was a full participant on both Thursday and Friday. They’ll start the game with the same guards (Ezra Cleveland and Ed Ingram), per Kevin O’Connell, so their opening day OL will be back together.”

O’Connell also said reservist linemen Dalton Risner and Blake Brandel “could see some playing time.”

It’s the Ed Ingram Show until it’s not, according to the Vikings skipper.

Rumor: The Vikings were interested in J.C. Jackson before he was traded to the New England Patriots.

Nov 28, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (27) reacts after intercepting a pass in the Tennessee Titans end zone in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports.

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson mentioned on SKOR North airwaves Thursday, “If the Chargers had cut the cord on J.C. Jackson, there was going to be interest with the Vikings.”

Minnesota employs Byron Murphy, Akayleb Evans, Mekhi Blackmon, Andrew Booth, and NaJee Thompson at cornerback, so it isn’t surprising that it would be interested in a big name like Jackson.

This is null and void now, though, as Jackson returned to New England, where he played from 2018 to 2021.

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.