Purple Rumor Mill: Vikings “Release” an RB, a Jefferson Snag, Ty Chandler’s Role

Writer Claims Justin
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 September 9th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Vikings “Release” an RB, a Jefferson Snag, Ty Chandler’s Role

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 Vikings cut ties with recently signed RB Myles Gaskin.

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports.

So, this one is a bit tricky and perhaps initially misleading.

Friday afternoon, ESPN’s Field Yates tweeted, “The Vikings have released RB Myles Gaskin.”

Sounds pretty damning, doesn’t it?

Well, The Athletic’s Alec Lewis cleaned up the ESPN reporting mere minutes after the Yates tweet, “The Vikings have released RB Myles Gaskin, but it’s a procedural move, and he’ll be placed on the practice squad tomorrow as well as be elevated to the roster for Sunday.”

If you’re upset that Gaskin was cut, fear not. He should be on the regular season field Sunday, despite the “bad” tweets implying his exodus.

Rumor: Justin Jefferson’s extension is solely “up to the Vikings.”

Jefferson Snag
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings haven’t locked Jefferson up yet for the long-term, and for the first time, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year put contract talks in the Vikings court this week.

“Of course, I would want a contract to be done. But at the end of the day, it is all up to them and what the ownership want to do with that,” Jefferson told reporters.

“Up to them”  the Vikings front office  is new verbiage from Jefferson.

Jefferson also claimed his extension talks are a bit unique because of his otherworldly performance since joining the Vikings, which isn’t wrong. “I’m in a different situation. I’ve done something that no one has ever done in the history of the game. So my situation is a little bit different than everyone else’s. Of course, I’m going into my fourth year, trying to talk about contract two years early. There’s so many different parts that go in towards it. That’s why I leave it up to my agent and just keep my mindset on the field.”

Always remember, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said this at the 2023 NFL Combine, “I don’t want to be the Vikings’ GM without that guy on our team.”

A deal will get done.

Rumor: Ty Chandler will break out, probably in a Vikings RB committee.

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

This week, ESPN previewed each team for the 2023 season, and the sports media giant assigned the Vikings a 49% probability to reach the postseason, a 26% chance at winning the NFC North, and offered a bold prediction — running back Ty Chandler will lead the club in rushing yards.

ESPN’s Seth Walder explained, “Ty Chandler will take over as the Vikings’ top running back and lead them in rushing yards by the end of the season. Alexander Mattison has recorded negative rush yards over expectation in each of the past two seasons (minus-42 in 2022, minus-72 in 2021), per NFL Next Gen Stats.”

On paper, Alexander Mattison is the RB1, as the Vikings released an unofficial regular season depth chart on Tuesday. Chandler, 25, is the RB2, meaning he’s just one injury away from the big job. Too, Minnesota is more likely to embrace an RB committee approach with a roster not employing an Adrian Peterson or Dalvin Cook for the first time in 16 years.

You shouldn’t be surprised one iota if Mattison and Chandler end up with equitable rushing attempts or yards in 2023.

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.