Vikings Fact or Fiction: Kyler Murray Trade, J.J. McCarthy Hype, The New Kickoff Rule

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A new publication from VikingsTerritory, we unveil the Vikings Fact or Fiction of the day.

Vikings Fact or Fiction: Kyler Murray Trade, J.J. McCarthy Hype, The New Kickoff Rule

Fact or Fiction is exactly what it sounds like — explaining credible or false on the keynote Vikings’ topics of the day. There’s always some degree of rumor in an NFL team’s orbit, and Minnesota isn’t excluded.

Vikings Fact or Fiction
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Here’s the batch for March 27th.

Fact or Fiction: The Vikings will trade draft capital for Kyler Murray between now and April 25th.

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This idea was born by former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum in a mock draft.

He explained his thought process: “From the Vikings’ standpoint, everything I said earlier about Murray’s durability still matters, but he’s cheaper and younger than Kirk Cousins would have been to re-sign and gives them a chance to compete this season rather than rebuild.”

Tannenbaum sent Murray and a 3rd-Rounder to the Vikings for the 11th overall pick.

Murray-to-Vikings won’t happen for three reasons:

  1. Minnesota has to pay Justin Jefferson; if they wanted an expensive quarterback, they would’ve re-signed Cousins. T.J. Hockenson is also the NFL’s richest tight end, and Christian Darrisaw will need an extension next offseason. There is not enough money for Murray.
  2. Arizona would be on the hook for massive dead cap funds — to the tune of about $40 million.
  3. A reporter asked Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon in January, “Is there any doubt in your mind who your quarterback is going to be next season?” Gannon replied, “No, there is not. There is no doubt. Number 1 is our franchise quarterback.”

The Cardinals will probably draft Marvin Harrison Jr. — to pair with Murray — and that’ll be that.

Verdict: Fiction. 🤣

Fact or Fiction: J.J. McCarthy will be drafted within the Top 5.

Vikings Draft Prospect
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero recently mentioned about McCarthy: “It’s been really interesting because everybody is always trying to figure out — especially at the top of the draft — what the other teams are doing. When I’ve had conversations here with executives for other teams who know [Washington GM] Adam Peters well, know the situation well, the most popular answer for what they do at No. 2 is J.J. McCarthy. So a lot of drama still to come.”

On Wednesday, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah said, “I put it out in my last mock draft, and I have quarterbacks going one through four … I’m talking to teams that are in the Quarterback market, and teams that aren’t… JJ McCarthy is really highly thought of, and that’s not a smokescreen.”

This isn’t like Malik Willis in 2022 or Will Levis in 2023. McCarthy smoke comes with fire.

Verdict: Fact. 😤

Fact or Fiction: The NFL’s new kickoff rule grants Kene Nwangwu greater job security in 2024.

Viking
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

This is how kickoffs will look in 2024:

Without the rule change, Kene Nwangwu could’ve been a roster-bubble candidate later this summer. At the moment, Minnesota has five running backs on the roster.

Now, though, there’s no other way around it: The rule change cemented Nwangwu’s job security. If you need proof, refer to Cordarrelle Patterson to the Steelers — a signing that went down mere minutes or hours after the rule change.

At least as an experiment, kickoff returns are back, and Nwangwu is vital again.

Verdict: Fact. 😤


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 MIN 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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