Purple Rumor Mill: Jonathan Taylor, T.J. Hockenson’s Ask, Jaren Hall

Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-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 August 26th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Jonathan Taylor, T.J. Hockenson’s Ask, Jaren Hall

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: Jonathan Taylor would like to join the Vikings via trade.

Jonathan Taylor
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs out of the tunnel Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. © Armond Feffer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Vikings said goodbye to Dalvin Cook in June, a firm signal they’re done paying running backs top dollar.

In that vein, trading for an expensive running back 2.5 months later wouldn’t make much sense, as Taylor will want an extension soon after arriving to his new team.

But KSTP’s Darren Wolfson said this week on The Mackey and Judd Show, “It’s a non-starter from the Eagan point of view, but the Taylor camp would love to involve the Vikings. The Taylor camp looks at it and says, ‘Hey, great situation there. Our guy can have success in that offense with Justin Jefferson and those two elite tackles.’ The Taylor camp would love to see the Vikings get involved with the Colts in trade dialogue.”

So, the moral of the story is that Taylor and his camp are apparently intrigued, but Minnesota is not.

Rumor: T.J. Hockenson plans to “reset the market” with his contract extension.

Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) walks off the field after the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Athletic’s Dianna Russini tweeted Wednesday, 18 days before the start of the regular season, “The Vikings and tight end T.J. Hockenson have been working on an extension, but both sides are far apart, per league sources. Hockenson wants to reset the market with a historic contract extension for tight ends. He has been limited at practice because of an ear infection and back soreness.”

Any notion implying Hockenson will take a mid-tier or team-friendly deal should be forgotten.

The playmaker curiously hasn’t practiced much in recent weeks as the Vikings front office and Hockenson’s representation hash out an extension.

A deal should get done before too long, and it will be large.

Rumor: Jaren Hall may not make the 53-man roster.

Aug 19, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) throws a pass during the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Because Hall has not set the world on fire in the preseason, some Vikings fans have whispered he’ll end up on the practice squad, not the regular season roster.

But head coach Kevin O’Connell said this week about Hall and the new emergency quarterback rule, “I spent a long time diving in on that the other day because there are some unique rules to that, but our particular setup is exactly the setup where it benefits because Jaren can be on our roster but more importantly be in uniform as that emergency third quarterback on game day. That gives us 49 potential players on game day.”

“Just the fact that you can rest easy knowing if a catastrophe happened, an emergency as they call it, Jaren can go in the game and function. Hopefully, we don’t have to have any of those experiences, but it is nice for Jaren to be a part of these trips, be on the field, be in those sideline huddles, hearing the dialogue — it is all part of his growth,” O’Connell added.

That doesn’t sound like a guy about to join the practice squad.

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.