Purple Rumor Mill: Stars Aligning for Mike Zimmer, Kirk’s Chunky Pricetag, Flores

Mike Zimmer might
Robert Deutsch-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 February 3rd edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Stars Aligning for Mike Zimmer, Kirk’s Chunky Pricetag, Flores

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: Mike Zimmer could become the next defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.

Aligning for Mike
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Cowboys writer Calvin Austin tweeted Thursday night, mere hours after Dallas’ 2023 defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was hired in Washington as head coach, “Former Vikings HC and Cowboys DC Mike Zimmer is interested in the current vacant Cowboys gig a person with knowledge of his thinking said.”

Editor Josh Frey of PurplePTSD, a sister site to VikingsTerritory, wrote about Zimmer + Cowboys soon after, “Zimmer has helped Dallas get to the promised land in the past, and now, this could be a golden opportunity to do so again with a number of talented players on the defensive side of the ball such as CB Da’Ron Bland and pass rusher Micah Parsons.”

The pairing of Zimmer and the Cowboys is extremely realistic, almost to the point you should expect it.

The only hiccup? Quinn ran a 3-4 system, whereas Zimmer is a 4-3 guru.

Rumor: The “buzz” suggests Kirk Cousins wants a two-year, $90 million deal.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Pioneer Press Charley Walters wrote last weekend about Cousins’ upcoming free agency, “The buzz now is that it will take $90 million guaranteed for two years, despite that he’s still not yet fully recovered from Achilles surgery in November, to sign free agent QB Kirk Cousins. If that’s the case, he certainly won’t get that from the Vikings.”

Many believed Cousins would accept a “hometown discount” to stay with the Vikings, but the Walters reporting feels much more like Cousins’ modus operandi.

Folks will get a verdict — Cousins back in Minnesota or on the free-agent wire — in the next five weeks.

Rumor: Brian Flores received no love in the NFL’s coaching carousel and will return to Minnesota for Year No. 2.

Flores Flourish
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Five defensive coaches were hired during this year’s carousel. Three had an offense-first background. Somehow, Flores was still shut out of the process.

Flores turned the Vikings’ defense around in one season, transforming it from 24th in the NFL per DVOA in 2022 to 11th-best in 2023. It is unclear if he opted to sit out this interviewing cycle or if NFL teams told Flores no thanks.

Expect Flores to become a candidate for the big job somewhere in 2025.


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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