Purple Rumor Mill: Tom Brady Was Called, Shaquille Leonard, Akiem Hicks Theories

Tom Brady. © Kevin R. Wexler-NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

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 November 25th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Tom Brady Was Called, Shaquille Leonard, Akiem Hicks Theories

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: The Vikings actually reached out to Tom Brady after Kirk Cousins’ injury.

Tom Brady Was Called
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports.

This nugget came from Scott Zolak, a former New England Patriots quarterback and current radio-podcast personality.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was lost for the season four weeks ago at Lambeau Field, tearing his Achilles and prompting Minnesota to swing a low-risk trade for Arizona Cardinals passer Josh Dobbs. And while the Vikings weighed options during a 48-hour window regarding next steps without Cousins, Zolak claimed Minnesota’s front office called Brady.

Discussing the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback options after losing Joe Burrow last week, Zolak said on The Zolak and Bertrand Show Monday, “The Vikings reached out.”

The show’s panel was generally intrigued, if not a bit shocked, by Zolak’s breaking news, but the segment didn’t dive much further into Brady-to-Vikings. After speculating that Brady would not oblige any requests from the Vikings or Bengals, Zolak declared, “Brady is done.”

The Vikings leaders know Brady. When Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell was drafted by the New England Patriots, Brady was in the middle of his dominating reign. What’s more, Minnesota’s defensive coordinator Brian Flores was attached to the Patriots coaching staff in various capacities for 15 years while Brady ran the show.

Gauging Brady’s unretirement interest really, really made sense for Minnesota after Cousins’ injury, and per Zolak, the team’s brass inquired. Due diligence.

Rumor: Minnesota is in the Shaquille Leonard Sweepstakes.

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard (53) talks to game official Grantis Bell on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, before facing the New Orleans Saints at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. © Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Vikings — and 30 other NFL teams — have the opportunity to become richer at the ILB spot after the Indianapolis Colts strangely waived Shaquille Leonard on Tuesday.

Leonard then cleared waivers as teams were reluctant to get on the hook for his contract’s remainder, and can sign anywhere in the NFL.

Meanwhile, according to one credible source, the Vikings are interested. The Athletic’s Dianna Russini tweeted on Thanksgiving, “Multiple teams are discussing adding Shaq Leonard, including the Cowboys, Eagles, Vikings, and more. I was told Leonard is going to take his time making a decision as to where he wants to play.”

The 28-year-old is a four-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler, making his waiver from Indianapolis all the more mystifying. Upper-echelon veterans, particularly four-time All-Pros, are rarely dropped unceremoniously in November (outside of scandal).

With Jordan Hicks on the shelf for at least three more games, adding Leonard makes all the sense in the world. It probably boils down to whether he believes the Vikings are a true contender, which is assuredly debatable.

Rumor: Vikings fans have renewed free-agent calls for DT Akiem Hicks.

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports.

During a Sunday Night Football loss at the Denver Broncos, the Minnesota Vikings lost defensive tackle Dean Lowry to a pectoral injury for the season.

So, Vikings fans fired up a familiar campaign, asking Hicks on social media if he’d join the purple team. This isn’t the first time Vikings fans have summoned Hicks. When 2023 began, and the defense was porous out the gate, the same crowd asked for Hicks’ acquisition, to no avail. In fact, Hicks even acknowledged Vikings fans’ requests.

Hicks tweeted on September 22nd, “That Viking love has been nice all day, I appreciate the interest. Always had fun strappin it on against you. As a competitor you hope to receive the respect of your opponent. The respect of the fan base is a very nice bonus. skol.”

It wouldn’t be weird at all for Minnesota to sign a veteran DT after Lowry’s injury, and Hicks would check many boxes.


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.

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