Purple Rumor Mill: The XFL QB, Dalvin Release Unlikely, Flyer on Young QB

Apr 24, 2022; Birmingham, AL, USA; Tampa Bay Bandits quarterback Jordan Ta'amu (10) throws against the New Orleans Breakers during the first half at Protective Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-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 June 3rd edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: The XFL QB, Dalvin Release Unlikely, Flyer on Young QB

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 worked out the XFL Offensive Player of the Year.

Apr 18, 2022; Birmingham, AL, USA; Tampa Bay Bandits quarterback Jordan Ta’amu (10) drops back to pass against Pittsburgh Maulers during the first half at Protective Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports.

This one is correct. The Score’s Jordan Schultz tweeted Thursday, “QB Jordan Ta’amu is working out for the Vikings today, source tells The Score. Still just 25 years old, the 6-3, 214-pound Ta’amu earned XFL Offensive Player of the Year honors this past season for the DC Defenders.”

Ta’amu initially latched onto the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent four years ago, staying in Houston for three weeks before regular season roster cuts. He’s since spent time — albeit tiny periods — with the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, Chiefs again, Lions again, Washington Commanders, and Carolina Panthers before finding jobs in the XFL.

Indeed, Ta’amu won the XFL’s OPOY and reached the league’s championship game. He also led the XFL in passing yards and touchdowns.

But after his tryout, the Vikings signed native Minnesotan WR Garett Maag, so for now, there is no roster space for Ta’amu. That — and the Vikings have three quarterbacks on the current roster: Kirk Cousins, Nick Mullens, and Jaren Hall.

Rumor: Dalvin Cook will be traded or retained — not released.

Meet the Frontrunner
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (97) tackles Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

At midnight EST on June 2nd, Dalvin Cook could be released for cap savings of $9 million or traded for a mid-to-late-round draft pick(s) and $11 million in savings. The time has arrived if everybody’s Cook theories are accurate.

Regarding a release of Cook on Friday or afterward, here’s the question — why would the Vikings outright release Cook when it could’ve done so at any time in the last four months? Releases can be designated with a post-June-1st designation; it happens frequently in the NFL. Perhaps Minnesota learned early on in The Cook Sweepstakes that he wasn’t a hot commodity on the trade market. He could’ve been tabbed for a post-6/1 cut, and the running back would’ve been free to sign anywhere.

If the Vikings planned to release Cook at an anytime this offseason, they could’ve done it by now. Nothing was holding them back. Trades, on the other hand, cannot be marked with a post-June-1st designation.

Keeping Cook for 2023 or trading are the most sensible options.

If it’s a release for Cook, it will have meant the Vikings ‘tried and tried’ to trade him but decided on the symbolic and coincidental June 2nd-or-after date to bite the bullet.

Rumor: GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could swing a trade for a young quarterback like Zach Wilson.

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) warms up at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022. Nfl Ny Jets Vs Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars At Jets. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

This came from SI.com and NFL writer Conor Orr’s 100 Bold NFL Predictions.

Orr wrote this week, “The Vikings will make a relatively low-cost and high-upside maneuver to secure their quarterback for 2024 ahead of the market. Trey Lance? Zach Wilson? Mac Jones? The Vikings are not going to catch as many good-luck heaters as they did in winning 13 games a year ago. They will be middling and will also have to confront life after a very good quarterback who commands a fully guaranteed salary each season.”

Based on the way Adofo-Mensah traded for Jalen Reagor, Ross Blacklock, and T.J. Hockenson last year, the theory checks out. Landing Wilson, Jones, or Lance seems like a ‘Kwesi thing’ to do.

Wilson and Jones would churn most Vikings fans’ stomachs, but Lance is a different story. We shall see. On the whole, the idea is possible but unlikely. Minnesota enjoys its current QB room.

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.