Purple Rumor Mill: Patrick Peterson a Lock, Dalvin Surgery + SB, Za’Darius’ House

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 February 18th edition.

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.

Purple Rumor Mill: Patrick Peterson a Lock, Dalvin Surgery + SB, Za’Darius House

Here’s the first batch of the week.

Rumor: Patrick Peterson seemed to imply on Twitter he’ll return to the Vikings in 2023.

Patrick Peterson a Lock
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) celebrates his interception during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Peterson stating he wants to return to the Vikings in 2023 is not unique to last week.

In November, he told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press he desired “at least one more Pro Bowl, one more All-Pro” and that such accomplishments “would be a nice, satisfying way for me to end off my career, for sure.”

“No doubt about it. I don’t want to go anywhere else. I’m not trying to go anywhere but Minnesota. I love everything around here. I would love to stay put,” Peterson concluded

After the Vikings 2022 season ended, he said this:

I would love to be there in that purple and gold again and give it a run again just because I love the community there. I love the organization. I love the new regime that (was) brought into that building, the trainers, the strength and conditioning staff. It’s just amazing. I truly believe it felt like home for me. I felt like it was a place that I belonged. But we all know it’s a business.

Patrick Peterson on the All Things Covered podcast

And then, on Super Bowl eve, he reportedly chatted with Vikings brass in Arizona. This was the tweet on that day:

That seems like an odd tweet to put out in the open if you want to leave a franchise. So, if the Vikings are in the mood for it, it’s probably a safe bet that Peterson would like to stay with the Vikings in 2023.

Rumor: Dalvin Cook had surprise surgery and wants to remain with the Vikings.

Current Super Bowl
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (97) tackles Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Cook broke his shoulder in 2019 and is evidently having surgery now to repair it fully.

He’s scheduled for a $14 million cap hit in 2023, a figure that may not be to the liking of a Vikings analytics-focused front office. In fact, it would be rather odd for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to preach value every time he’s in front of a microphone — and then turn around to pay a running back that kind of cash.

Following the surgery, Cook tweeted this:

He’s probably open to a return with the Vikings — why wouldn’t he be? — but Minnesota’s management must agree.

We believe the two parties are heading toward divorce if Cook won’t take a paycut. And in fairness to Cook, there’s no reason for him to accept less money voluntarily.

Rumor: Za’Darius Smith put his house up for sale, marking the end of his stay in Minnesota.

2022 Vikings Basic Betting Odds Tracker
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) celebrates victory at the end of the second half of the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

Smith actually put his house up for sale about a month ago, but the news made rounds on Friday. Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling tweeted, “Vikings edge rusher Za’Darius Smith appears to be preparing to sell his house in Eagan; the property is listed as “coming soon” on the real estate market.”

“Preparing to sell a house, of course, doesn’t mean that a player is gone; there’d certainly seem to be a fit for Smith in the Vikings’ defense with Brian Flores. But they have a decision to make on him in the next month, with $5.05M of his base salary becoming guaranteed on 3/19,” Goessling added.

The house-for-sale nugget seems irrelevant, but Smith could indeed be heading elsewhere. The Vikings would save $12.1 million by releasing him, and new defensive coordinator Brian Flores could have somebody else in mind at outside linebacker.

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.