Purple Rumor Mill: Trading Everything for Caleb, Bridgewater’s New Gig, Antoine Winfield Jr.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-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 4th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Trading Everything for Caleb, Bridgewater’s New Gig, Antoine Winfield Jr.

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 second batch of the week. Yesterday’s can be read here.

Rumor: One mock draft claims the Vikings should trade six — yes, six — draft picks for USC’s Caleb Williams.

for Caleb
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This week, Bleacher Report dragged the Vikings’ trade pandemonium to new heights, projecting the Vikings’ price to barter with the Chicago Bears for the first overall pick. Long story short, the price is bonkers. Including an NFC North rival tax, BR‘s Brad Gagnon claimed the Vikings’ side of the bargain would be massive. Here’s the hypothetical trade:

Vikings Get —
1st Overall Pick in 2024

Bears Get —
2024 1st-Rounder
2025 1st-Rounder
2026 1st-Rounder
2024 2nd-Rounder
2025 2nd-Rounder
2025 3rd-Rounder

That’s six players (picks, in this case) for the price of the top pick, presumably Caleb Williams from USC. Of course, Vikings fans wouldn’t lament the trade in retrospect if Williams later turned generationally productive, but this proposed trade haul is excessive — teetering on downright malarkey.

Minnesota might trade up on draft night. Yet, this price is too steep for a player who might be good.

Rumor: Teddy Bridgewater retired and is now a high school football coach.

Nov 19, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) against the Los Angeles Rams at U.S. Bank Stadium. Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

SI.com’s Andy Villamarzo tweeted this week, “Many believed that would be down in South Florida, where he first established himself as a future NFL star. Now, those beliefs have turned into reality as Bridgewater has been reportedly named the new head football coach at Miami Northwestern High School, his alma mater, per The Portal 305.”

So, yes, five days after his final game in the NFL, Bridgewater signed on the dotted line to become his alma mater’s head coach. Very cool.

Rumor: Vikings are high on the team signing Antoine Winfield Jr. in free agency.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota will have the cash to sign impact free agents in five weeks, and as of late, the team’s fans have become fixated on one man in particular — Antoine Winfield Jr.

Indeed, the Buccaneers may not let the All-Pro safety walk out the door, but some team will sign on for his services if so, probably for around $15-$18 million per year. Because of Winfield Jr.’s college ties to the University of Minnesota, plus his father’s history with the Vikings, folks want the son Winfield in purple.

Minnesota’s free-agent priority may not be safety, though. Why? Well, these are the Vikings safeties under contract in 2024:

  • Harrison Smith
  • Josh Metellus
  • Camryn Bynum
  • Lewis Cine
  • Jay Ward

Smith is the hot topic because, at age 35, he could retire or join another team if released. However, even if Smith departs, the Vikings are still extraordinarily deep at safety, at least compared to other positions, for 2024. 

Don’t expect Minnesota to prioritize safety in free agency because of existing depth. But the Winfield Jr. dreams are fun.

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.