Purple Rumor Mill: Trey Lance Mania, C.J. Stroud a Faller, Dolphins WR

Trade Theory Involves
Sep 11, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-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 April 22nd edition, the pre-draft edition, Vol. 1 of 2.

Purple Rumor Mill: Trey Lance Mania, C.J. Stroud a Faller, Dolphins WR

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: Trey Lance could be traded to the Vikings.

Trey Lance Mania
September 18, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports.

The Lance-to-Vikings rumors have been an odyssey since the middle of the week. Here’s the timeline.

The discourse started Wednesday with a tweet from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, “Sources: The 49ers have received inquiries from several teams looking into a potential trade for former No. 3 pick QB Trey Lance. The conversations have been the result of SF fielding the calls, not making them, with teams aware that Brock Purdy is likely the future starter.”

The following day, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported, “Per a league source, the two teams [Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers] talked about Trey Lance. The source doesn’t know whether that’s currently happening. The Vikings have since restructured the Cousins contract. They’d take a significant cap hit ($38 million) if the Vikings traded Cousins before June 1. But the Vikings need an answer for 2024, and beyond. It’s unclear whether they truly think Lance could be the answer.”

Soon after, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell pounced by finding a way via mock draft to trade Lance to the Vikings with this hypothetical exchange of assets:

  • Vikings get: QB Trey Lance, 3-102, 6-216 (from SF), 2-63 (from PHI)
  • 49ers get: 1-23, QB Nick Mullens (from MIN)
  • Eagles get: 3-99, 3-101 (from SF), 2025 fourth-round pick (from MIN)

If the Vikings want to hand the baton in 2024 to a quarterback who hasn’t played consistent football in five years (by that time), Lance can probably be obtained for a mid-round draft pick(s).

It’s just unclear if Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell would be content with Lance’s absence from leading an offense since 2019. A span from 2019 to 2024 is a long time.

Rumor: C.J. Stroud’s draft stock is falling, and he could be gettable for the Vikings.

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) walks off the field during the second quarter of the NCAA football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. Ohio State Buckeyes At Michigan Wolverines. © Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK.

So, Stroud didn’t attend Peyton Manning’s football academy, and for some reason, that decided to ruffle feathers this week. Bizarre, we know.

Thereafter, stuff like this has dribbled out:

Driving Stroud’s draft stock down is likely just “the nature of the beast,” with the event less than a week away. We’ll believe it when we see it on his tumble down the draftboard.

However, if he did fall to the No. 10 spot or so, the Vikings could pounce for two 1st-Rounders and a 3rd-Round pick like the Kansas City Chiefs did at this exact draft spot when they acquired Patrick Mahomes in 2017.

Rumor: WR Cedrick Wilson could join the Vikings via trade.

Jan 15, 2023; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. warms up before playing against the Buffalo Bills in a NFL wild card game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports.

This one is flimsy.

Pro Football Network acknowledged [and decried] the Wilson-to-Minnesota rumor on Wednesday, “One hypothetical making the rounds on social media is that the Dolphins will trade Wilson to the Vikings for Dalvin Cook — the star running back whose job is far from secure due to a big salary of his own.”

“But that trade doesn’t make sense for a number of reasons — all contract-related. Just as the Dolphins have already signaled that they’re in no rush to take on Cook’s $10.4 million salary, the Vikings probably aren’t inclined to pay Wilson $7 million to be, at best, their No. 2 receiver,” PFN‘s Adam Beasley opined.

Wilson would theoretically be a piece in Vikings-Dolphins trade for Dalvin Cook.

But is he really a better WR2 option than K.J. Osborn? Probably not.

He’s tallied 973 career receiving yards and 8 touchdowns in 53 games. Most Wilson rumors seem to imply he’d fill a WR2 role in Minnesota. However, he’d likely become a candidate to contend for WR2 — not automatically seize Osborn’s job.

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,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.