Purple Rumor Mill: Kyler Murray as Trade Candidate, Mayfield as Stopgap, Tanner Morgan

Former OU quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray pose for a photo during halftime of Saturday's spring game in Norman. © NATHAN J. FISH/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

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 8th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Kyler Murray as Trade Candidate, Mayfield as Stopgap, Tanner Morgan

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 second batch of the week. Yesterday’s can be read here.

Rumor: The Vikings could trade for Kyler Murray next offseason and make him the QB1 of the future.

Purple Rumor Mill: Kyler Murray as Trade Candidate, Mayfield as Stopgap, Tanner Morgan
Nov 6, 2022; Phoenix, AZ, United States; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws the ball against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic NFL Cardinals Vs Seahawks Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

Kirk Cousins is only attached to the Vikings for 13 more games, scheduled to hit free agency in March. He could return to the club or start a third chapter elsewhere.

If he leaves, the Vikings would need a new quarterback, assuming they’re not enamored with Nick Mullens or Jaren Hall. Meanwhile, because the current brand of Arizona Cardinals management didn’t draft Murray, he could be on the move, too.

This week, ESPN’s Dan Graziano wrote at length about the topic, “The outside speculation — the word I get when talking to agents and executives from other teams — is that the Cardinals likely will move on after this season. Again, that’s speculation. But there are common-sense reasons to speculate that way.”

Minnesota would, of course, have to eat a huge Murray contract if a trade materialized.

Graziano even plopped the Vikings into the Murray Sweepstakes, “They’re also likely to have numerous potential trade partners, especially if Murray comes back and plays well in the latter part of this season. A partial list of teams that could conceivably be looking for new quarterbacks for one reason or another next offseason includes the Patriots, Jets, Titans, Raiders, Broncos, Commanders, Cowboys, Bears, Lions, Vikings, Buccaneers and Falcons. And teams will slide on and off that list as the season progresses and circumstances change.”

This rumor shouldn’t be considered silly at all, and Vikings fans should ponder life with Murray as QB1.

Rumor: Minnesota could also turn to Baker Mayfield as a stopgap QB, partnered with a rookie passer.

Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) leaves the field after the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

If the Vikings, for example, draft a quarterback in April who isn’t quite ready for Week 1, some believe they’d eye a veteran patchover quarterback — like Baker Mayfield.

Bleacher Report‘s Alex Ballentine advanced the theory this week, “Mayfield is taking care of the ball with only two interceptions and a fumble. He still might not be a franchise quarterback, but he can be a capable starter in the right situation. The Minnesota Vikings could be a team to watch. Much like the Bucs, they have a star receiving tandem in Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. With Kirk Cousins’ contract set to expire, Mayfield could be a stopgap who would give them time to identify a future starter.”

We consider this one a longshot, but stranger things have happened.

Rumor: The Vikings are taking a flyer on former Gophers QB Tanner Morgan.

Nov 13, 2021; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) warms up before the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Morgan joined the Vikings this week, a practice squad addition, likely because QB2 Nick Mullens was hobbled by a back tweak.

Minnesota now employs Kirk Cousins, Mullens, Jaren Hall, and Tanner Morgan at quarterback, so Morgan is unlikely to see a regular season field.

He should not be theorized a QB1 of the future of Minnesota, but instead a QB2-QB3 option. The hometown connection is kind of cool, though.

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.