Purple Rumor Mill: Dalton Risner Sweepstakes, Keeping Cook, Adrian Not Leaving

Aug 21, 2020; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos guard Dalton Risner (66) during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

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 May 27th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Dalton Risner Sweepstakes, Keeping Cook, Adrian Not Leaving

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: Dalton Risner could end up in Minnesota.

Risner Sweepstakes
Nov 1, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos offensive guard Dalton Risner (66) in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Foremost, there’s the Chris Kuper connection. He’s the Vikings offensive line coach and was coworkers for Risner for the guard’s first three seasons as a pro. Above all else, that is the reason to believe Risner to Vikings is realistic.

Meanwhile, a source told VikingsTerritory this week that Minnesota is indeed ‘taking a look’ at Risner. He was the 41st overall pick (2nd Round) in the 2019 NFL Draft, evidently wasn’t a priority to re-sign for the Sean Payton-led Broncos, and now lives on the free-agent wire, at least for a while.

The Vikings only have four offensive guards on the depth chart. Most teams have five or six on their 90-man rosters.

The Risner-to-Minnesota theory is very real.

Rumor: The Vikings could just keep Dalvin Cook after months of rumors suggesting a trade or release.

Care of Dalvin
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball and is tackled by Chicago Bears defensive tackle Justin Jones (93) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

This possibility becomes more real by the moment, chiefly because the Vikings are not in salary-cap hell. The club has around $10 million in cap space, and somehow Cook’s large $14.1 million cap hit in 2023 is already baked in.

When trade-Cook and release-Cook theories picked up steam in March, Minnesota urgently needed cap space. The trade market for Cook may not be robust, at which point the Vikings could just land on “Well, why not keep him?”

It would feel odd to endure several months of topsy-turvy Cook rumors and then no movement at all, but stranger things have happened than just retaining the 27-year-old. We’d say it’s about 40/60 that Cook stays after all.

Rumor: Adrian Peterson isn’t retiring.

Dec 28, 2010; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) carries the ball during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Vikings defeated the Eagles 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports.

Asked about retirement this week, Peterson opined, “Mentally, I haven’t officially hung it up. We’ll see what happens. My mindset is, if God’s willing, maybe an opportunity presents itself, and maybe it happens this season. I’ll go from there. But nothing happens this season. For sure, I will be hanging it up.”

Drafted in 2007 by the Minnesota Vikings, Peterson, ranks fifth all-time in rushing yards, trailing the legendary Barry Sanders for fourth place by just 352 yards. He also ranks fourth in rushing touchdowns, needing just four more to pass Marcus Allen for third all-time.

He won’t be coveted as a free agent — he’s 38 years old — but could theoretically handle short-yardage-carry situations. And, for his sake, hopefully that would be for a playoff-bound team.

Peterson was also asked by FOX 9 about a return to the Vikings in March of 2022. He replied, “Who knows? It could possibly happen. But when it’s time for me to retire, of course, I’ll be back in a purple uniform, for sure.”

Someday, he’ll retire in purple.

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.