Purple Rumor Mill: The Purge, Thielen’s Next Team in 2023, Vikings + Odell Beckham

Nov 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) scores a touchdown in the first quarter against Chicago Bears cornerback Buster Skrine (24) at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-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 March 10th edition.

This week includes a Friday edition as the rumor mill is moving rapidly.

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: The Purge, Thielen’s Next Team in 2023, Vikings + Odell Beckham

Here’s the first batch of the week.

Rumor: The Vikings purge is firmly underway and will not stop.

the purge
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) warms up before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The long-expected Vikings roster renovation is underway. The club has released Eric Kendricks, Adam Thielen, and Cameron Dantzler so far, and more men will exit the franchise, too.

For now, it seems the Vikings are trying to clear cap space for next week’s free agency period without extending Kirk Cousins’ contract. Of course, Cousins could be extended at any moment, but the franchise has started with that maneuver in years past.

On the purge-not-over aspect, Jordan Hicks, C.J. Ham, Za’Darius Smith, and perhaps even Harrison Smith could be next. It’s the nature of the beast for a new-ish general manager who wants to build the roster with his own vision.

Rumor: Adam Thielen’s next destination is likely the Kansas City Chiefs.

Nov 22, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (left) and coach Andy Reid react during the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With Thielen officially a free agent for the first time since the very start of his career, he should experience moderate interest in his services.

Thielen morphed into a touchdown magnet during his final four seasons with the Vikings, and some other team will eat that up this September. Indeed, Thielen could join the Chiefs to totally cash in on his “I have plenty left in the tank” promise. Joining Patrick Mahomes is the easiest way to do so.

Otherwise, watch for the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, or Cleveland Browns as potential landing spots.

Rumor: The Vikings are in on the Odell Beckham sweepstakes.

Odell Beckham Nears Final Destination
Nov 23, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; NFL player Odell Beckham Jr. walks court-side during the second half between the Miami Heat and the Washington Wizards at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.

Well, Minnesota suddenly needs a WR2, doesn’t it?

Thielen is gone, and if the team doesn’t trust K.J. Osborn or Jalen Nailor for WR2 duty, it must use free agency or the NFL draft for replenishment.

Beckham hosted a private workout Friday, and the Vikings were in attendance. CBS Sports Jonathan Jones’ tweeted about the event, “Teams represented at Odell Beckham Jr.’s private workout in Arizona today included the Panthers, Giants, Patriots, Rams, Cardinals, 49ers, Bills, Chiefs, Vikings, Browns and Ravens, per source.”

That’s a lot of teams (34% of the league), but yes, the Vikings were there. Kevin O’Connell worked with Beckham in Los Angeles, so this thing could come together.

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.