Purple Rumor Mill: The Team That Wants Danielle Hunter, a New Cousins Trade Theory, Free Agent WRs

Danielle Hunter
Brad Rempel-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 October 14th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: The Team That Wants Danielle Hunter, a New Cousins Trade Theory, Free Agent WRs

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 Jacksonville Jaguars are at the top of the rumor mill for Danielle Hunter’s services.

Wants Danielle Hunter
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

KSTP‘s Darren Wolfson talked about Jacksonville’s Hunter interest this week on SKOR North’s Mackey and Judd Show, “I know this, Jacksonville has all sorts of interest in Danielle Hunter. What are they willing to offer? Can you complete that trade?”

The Vikings and Jaguars did pass-rushing business three years ago when Yannick Ngakoue was shipped to Minnesota in 2020. Ironically, Hunter was en route to missing the entire season with a neck injury, and former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman traded for Ngakoue as a proposed solution — that didn’t work out. Ngakoue was packaged and shipped to the Baltimore Ravens about a month and a half later.

Now, though, the Jaguars could evidently be suitors for Hunter, with the Vikings as the possible recipient of draft picks. It is unclear how much draft capital Jacksonville would cough up for Hunter, but at least a 2nd-Rounder is a safe bet.

Some still believe Hunter could fetch a 1st-Round draft pick, but he turns 29 in two weeks, and his contract expires after this season. A 1st-Round ask could be too steep.

Should the Vikings trade Hunter — or Kirk Cousins — Minnesota would enter a full rest-of-season rebuild mode, stashing draft assets in exchange for losses, perhaps eyeing the 2024 NFL Draft for a new quarterback like Caleb Williams or Drake Maye. Minnesota has never historically “tanked,” but with the Caleb Williams Sweepstakes ultra-enticing and the club potentially sitting at a 1-5 or 1-6 record, all options would be on the table.

Jacksonville’s starting EDGE rushers are Travon Walker and Josh Allen, so it is unclear where Hunter would fit in the starting lineup.

Rumor: The Atlanta Falcons make the most sense for a midseason Kirk Cousins trade.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN entered the Cousins trade forum Monday immediately after the club lost to the Chiefs, claiming a Cousins swap to a new team would not be an overreaction by trade theorists or the Vikings front office.

And a new team was mentioned — the Falcons.

“He could help someone, and the sooner he gets to the Jets or Falcons or whoever needs a real quarterback to maximize an otherwise strong roster, the better. He’d likely have to learn a new offense on the fly. Now, Cousins has a no-trade clause, and he and his family like it in Minnesota. This is an obstacle, and possibly one that couldn’t be overcome. But if Cousins is not in the Vikings’ 2024 plans, and they went to him and told him that and asked if he wanted them to deal him to a contender, you’d think he’d at least have to consider it,” ESPN’s Kevin Seifert wrote about Cousins’ potential to boost a playoff-contending team.

The Falcons curiously don’t utilize their prominent pass-catching options in Kyle Pitts and Drake London like a normal NFL offense — fantasy football managers can attest — but adding Cousins would apparently be the special sauce.

Of course, Cousins owns the no-trade clause and didn’t sound too enthused this week about waiving it.

Rumor: A handful of decent free-agent WR options are available to Minnesota if Justin Jefferson’s absence extends more than four games.

Packers Could Land
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports.

Among many, four notable wide receiver options are available to the Vikings — Jarvis Landry, Julio Jones, T.Y. Hilton, and Kenny Golladay.

None of them are Justin Jefferson or remotely close, but if Jefferson misses more than four games and Minnesota somehow wins several ballgames, one more veteran pass-catcher makes sense.

Landry is likely the most productive of all WR free agents on the market.

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.