Purple Rumor Mill: Malik Willis at QB, Andrew Booth, The Kicker

George Walker IV / Tennessean.com

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 19th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Malik Willis at QB, Andrew Booth, The Kicker

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 be scouting Malik Willis this week for an eventual trade.

Malik Willis
George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports.

This one made the rounds this week — because the Vikings conducted joint practices with Tennessee and play the Titans on Saturday night in the preseason’s second game.

The theory was uplifted on The Viking Age website, as Adam Patrick opined, “The Titans hired a new general manager earlier this year in Ran Carthon, and during the NFL Draft this past April, he went ahead and selected former Kentucky quarterback Will Levis in the second round. With Carthon not being part of the Tennessee front office when they drafted Willis, some believe he could be the odd man out, and they could look to trade him in the near future.”

Tennessee has Willis, Ryan Tannehill, and Will Levis in its current QB room.

“If the Titans do end up trying to move on from Willis, perhaps Carthon and Adofo-Mensah, two people who spent part of their past working together in the San Francisco 49ers front office, will attempt to work out a deal that results in the Vikings potentially acquiring their franchise’s next great quarterback,” Patrick concluded.

We don’t believe a Willis trade will occur, but stranger things have happened.

Rumor: Andrew Booth could (or should) be traded.

Grim Injury News for Vikings CB
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

A Booth swap surfaced at Bleacher Report in an article detailing a trade every team should make. For the Vikings, it was Booth, who was injured frequently in 2022, didn’t play well when not injured, and got burned in the first preseason game last week.

BR’s Matt Holder explained, “To say the least, Andrew Booth Jr.’s NFL career hasn’t gotten off to a hot start. He barely played last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury, participating in six contests with one start as a rookie. And it doesn’t seem like that will change much in year two.”

Booth’s teammate, Akayleb Evans, was listed as the CB2 next to newcomer free agent Byron Murphy on the team’s first depth chart, while the Vikings also drafted USC’s Mekhi Blackmon, a cornerback, in April.

Those transactions prompted Holder to speculate, “The Clemson product has plenty of potential as he’s only a year removed from being a second-round pick. Someone should be willing to take a chance on him and it doesn’t sound like the Vikings are going to use him, so why not make a deal?”

Booth is 22 years old, produced a lousy preseason play, and was a 2nd-Rounder selected by the current general manager not long ago. Trading him now would be dumber than waiting to see him materialize into a potential bust — chiefly because of the unknown. Unless he’s headstrong or negligent — no reporting has ever suggested either character trait — it’s more logical to cultivate his skillset and await his maturation than trade him away for a late-round draft pick. He might blossom sooner or later; that is the point of player development with a sound coaching staff.

A Booth trade is unlikely.

Rumor: The Vikings kicker competition in 2023 is over.

The National Folks Picking the Vikings over Packers
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings signed running back Aaron Dykes on Thursday, a running back from the University of Richmond. To make room for Dykes, the club waived rookie kicker Jack Podlesny.

So that’s a wrap on the kicker battle; Joseph won the job for the third year in a row.

Joseph led the NFL in game-winning kicks last year and will hope to clean up ‘the other stuff’ this season, like extra points and non-game-winning (or ordinary) field goals.

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.