Purple Rumor Mill: Vikings + Lamar Jackson, a Potential WR2, Patrick Peterson Leaving?

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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 4th 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: Vikings + Lamar Jackson, a Potential WR2, Patrick Peterson Leaving?

Rumor: Minnesota may have interest in Lamar Jackson as a QB1 in 2023.

Patrick Peterson Leaving
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The Vikings alleged interest in Jackson was mentioned at NFLAnalysis.net. And we’ll go ahead and get it out in the open that we don’t believe this one.

The oft-injured quarterback reportedly wants a $250+ million contract. No thanks.

Kenneth Teape at NFL Analysis wrote this week, “Will Baltimore be able to secure a long-term deal with their star quarterback? If not, a former NFC executive that spoke to NFL Analysis Network believes the Minnesota Vikings would be a prime trade candidate for Lamar Jackson.”

Teape cited the anonymous executive as saying, “The Vikings could be a team to watch too. If the Ravens are forced to trade Lamar [Jackson], they’ll want to move him to the NFC. A chance to upgrade from Kirk Cousins to Lamar is something Minnesota couldn’t pass on.”

So, let it be known that this rumor is out in the stratosphere, but it seems doubtful.

Rumor: The Vikings could target free-agent WR D.J. Chark from the Detroit Lions.

Patrick Peterson Leaving
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This idea was born over at Pro Football Focus.

PFF’s Brad Spielberger authored an article titled One offensive free agent each NFL team should pursue in the 2023 offseason, and for the Vikings, that was Chark, a 26-year-old discovered by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2nd Round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Spielberger explained, “Chark represents a solid depth option who perhaps earns himself a bigger role in 2024 and beyond. Chark was also teammates at LSU in 2017 with Vikings superstar Justin Jefferson.”

“Chark signed a one-year flier for 2020 with the Detroit Lions after an up-and-down rookie contract spent with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he may not have done enough to earn himself the substantial multi-year deal he’s looking for. Minnesota tried to bring a speed element on the outside when they signed Dede Westbrook in 2021, and Chark represents a major upgrade,” Spielberger concluded.

Chark will enter his sixth season in 2023, recording 177 receptions for 2,544 yards and 18 touchdowns in 54 games. He averages 47.1 receiving yards per game and can be a homerun hitter for deep balls when targeted. 

This is a decent idea, but Chark probably isn’t the cream of the crop.

Rumor: Patrick Peterson has interest in leaving the Vikings to play for the Atlanta Falcons.

Patrick Peterson May Have
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Carl Dukes of CBS Sports Radio tweeted last week, “Bryant McFadden just told us that Patrick Peterson would love to be in Atlanta with the Atlanta Falcons. He is a free agent.”

McFadden is Peterson’s cousin, and the two host the All Things Covered podcast together.

Peterson’s cousin also said a little over a week ago, “Pat is a free agent. He currently lives in Atlanta as well. And one thing he mentioned to me, he’s like, ‘Mac, you heard about this whole Lamar Jackson situation to Atlanta.’ Well, he said, ‘You know what, I wouldn’t mind playing for the Falcons if they can pull that off.”

This one appears to be real — if the Falcons can land Lamar Jackson. But it’s unlikely that the Ravens will let him leave town. John Harbaugh told reporters on January 19th, when asked if Jackson would be the Ravens QB1 in September, “200 percent. There is no question.”

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.