Purple Rumor Mill: Kareem Hunt, Need for a DT, the New RB

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) reacts after running for a first down in the third quarter during an NFL Week 8 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. Nfl Cincinnati Bengals At Cleveland Browns Oct 31 0028

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 6th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Kareem Hunt, Need for a DT, the 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 second batch of the week. Yesterday’s can be read here.

Rumor: Kareem Hunt could sign with the Vikings.

Need for a DT
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports.

This appears to have originated at Heavy.com and is one of those rumors where that site thought it was an intelligent theory and ran with it.

No tangible intel ties Hunt to the Vikings; it’s just a website’s idea.

Heavy’s Max Dible wrote about Hunt and the Vikings, “If Hunt could find $7 million on the open market, he probably would have already taken it, especially considering how difficult it is proving for even the game’s top producers at the position to get paid in the contemporary NFL. If Hunt finds himself begrudgingly accepting a reality in which he must take a one-year prove-it deal somewhere to re-establish his value as a starting-caliber RB, the Vikings could offer him a quality platform to accomplish that goal.”

The idea isn’t terrible, in theory, but Minnesota already employs Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, DeWayne McBride, and Abram Smith. Hunt in purple is a longshot.

Rumor: After James Lynch’s ACL tear, Minnesota will be in the market for a replacement defensive tackle.

James Lynch Solidifying Backup NT Role 
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Lynch indeed suffered the injury Thursday night, which is reportedly season-ending.

The 24-year-old wasn’t necessarily on track to start in September, but the subtraction is a blow to DT depth. Jonathan Bullard likely secured a roster spot after the Lynch development, and a newcomer like Jaquelin Roy or Calvin Avery could climb the depth chart.

Meanwhile, Ndamukong Suh remains a free agent and plans to sign somewhere before the start of the regular season. The Vikings will probably roll with what they have at DT. Otherwise, few would complain about adding a future Hall of Famer, Suh.

Rumor: New Vikings RB and XFL standout Abram Smith could make the 53-man roster at the end of the month.

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports.

Smith certainly thrived in the XFL and joined the Vikings on Thursday. But he’s probably angling for a practice squad assignment, if anything, in 2023. Minnesota’s foursome before the Smith signing includes the aforementioned Mattison, Chandler, Nwangwu, and McBride. The team won’t carry five halfbacks on the regular season roster.

Don’t get too invested in Smith for the regular season — unless Chandler or McBride look absolutely horrible in the three preseason games.

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.