Purple Rumor Mill: Kirko and the Jets, Danielle Hunter Trade, Need for New RB

Kirk Cousins Riddle
Kirby Lee-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 16th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Kirko and the Jets, Danielle Hunter Trade, Need for New RB

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 could trade Kirk Cousins to the Jets with Aaron Rodgers out for the year.

Kirko and the Jets
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

After the Vikings fell to 0-2 on Thursday night, this idea circulated the internet even more fervently than earlier in the week.

Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon four plays into his Jets career and isn’t returning in 2023. So, folks have run wild with the idea that Cousins will be shipped to New York to salvage its season. ESPN’s Get Up show page tweeted Friday morning, “Kirk Cousins to the Jets! Who says no? Mike Greenberg is ‘all in’ for New York to make the trade for the QB.”

Football Guys’ Jeff Bell tweeted late Thursday night, “The Jets need to be on the phone for Kirk Cousins right now.”

CBS Sports published a full article, too, on the topic after the Vikings loss to the Eagles.

Cousins has a no-trade clause in his contract and likely wouldn’t waive it midseason. Plus, Minnesota is probably committed to turning this season around and not mailing it in.

A Cousins trade to New York is severely unlikely. If the Vikings are 0-7 near the trade deadline or something akin to that dastardly record, then maybe the discussion is warranted.

Rumor: Danielle Hunter could be on the move via trade if the Vikings don’t start winning games.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

This one appears to have gained legs at Vikings Wire. Judd Zulgad wrote on Friday, “Before you accuse me of being a killjoy, let me suggest there might be another Vikings player who would be open to being moved despite the fact he also has a no-trade clause. That would be Danielle Hunter.”

A Hunter trade is more likely than one involving Cousins because Hunter may want to latch onto a contender during the middle of the season.

“Hunter also would seem much more likely to be open to having his agent attempt to reach a long-term deal with a new team. Cousins made it clear in the spring that any contract negotiations wouldn’t take place again until free agency opens in March. Hunter has been looking to get the security of a rich contract extension — something Cousins has achieved several times with the Vikings — since he signed an undervalued second deal in Minnesota,” Zulgad added.

Overall, it’s more likely that the Vikings right the ship and make the 2023 season worthwhile than offloading Hunter to the highest bidder.

Again, the conversation changes if Minnesota is 0-7 or 1-6 close to the end of October.

Rumor: The Vikings will sign a new RB after two poor showings from RBs in Weeks 1 and 2.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

While the Vikings aren’t running the ball efficiently — at all — through two games, they’re not even really trying.

The Vikings 69 rushing yards through 2 games is the lowest total in franchise history to start a season. The 69 rushing yards are the 8th-lowest for a team in 2 games to start a season in the Super Bowl era or the last 57 years.

Too, Minnesota has rushed the ball 26 times through two games. That’s the third-fewest rushing attempts in NFL history through the first two games of a season.

Kevin O’Connell’s team won’t face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles every week, two clubs with outstanding rush defenses. Mattison is likely to get on track in Week 3 and beyond.

Otherwise, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could explore Leonard Fournette’s or Kareem Hunt’s free agencies, but the Vikings would probably give more carries to Ty Chandler or Myles Gaskin if Mattison is indeed “the problem.”

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.