Purple Rumor Mill: Danielle Hunter to Where? | Jefferson QB Preference | The Big Choice

Explained: 8 Big Things to Follow in Vikings-Bears
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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 11th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Danielle Hunter to Where? | Jefferson QB Preference | The Big Choice

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: ESPN claims the Chicago Bears will be interested in Danielle Hunter if he sees the light of free agency.

Hunter to Where
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Per Jeremy Fowler, this is a thing. “The sense I get here in Vegas is that Danielle Hunter will be hard for the Vikings to keep. He will have a very strong market, he turned 29 in October, and several teams had interest at the trade deadline. Chicago could look to add a pass-rusher to complement Montez Sweat in free agency and is very high on Hunter,” Fowler wrote this week.

If Hunter to a non-Vikings destination occurs, Minnesota will need to find two starting EDGE rushers this offseason, a daunting task.

And Hunter joining the Vikings’ secondary rival would be a real kick in the face.

Rumor: Justin Jefferson prefers Kirk Cousins at QB1 but realizes that’s up in the air.

Has Been Kind
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

According to Jefferson’s words, he’d rather not see Cousins depart the Vikings. “I would like him to stay. I would love to have him stay and have that connection with him. It’s going to be difficult to create that new connection with a whole new quarterback. Especially if we don’t know if we’re going to draft one, we don’t know if we’re going to pick one up. It’s a difficult situation. I would like to have him back,” Jefferson said Wednesday while making a handful of show appearances at the Super Bowl’s radio row.

“Kirk is great. Kirk is great as a teammate, as a person. Seeing the difference from having multiple quarterbacks throw to you as opposed to having that one main quarterback. It’s definitely a difference. You, kind of, appreciate it more,” Jefferson added.

Cousins is scheduled to hit free agency in four weeks if he and the Vikings can’t meet in the middle on a new contract.

Interestingly, Jefferson was asked about the reality of having Cousins back next season, and he replied, “I have no idea. It could be Kirk; It could not be Kirk. It doesn’t matter who is going to be throwing me that ball. I’m always going to be that same type of player.”

So, he’ll play with anybody at QB1, which is unsurprising.

Rumor: Some believe the Vikings can have either-or regarding Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson.

Would the Vikings without
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Dan Orlovsky said Thursday on The Pat McAfee Show, “You’re not gonna be able to afford both Justin at a high number and Kirk Cousins at the number that he’s probably gonna be able to command in free agency.”

As a long-term situation, Orlovsky is mostly correct. The Kansas City Chiefs proved two years ago that it’s extremely difficult to keep multiple chunky contracts on the same ledger, as Tyreek Hill was traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2022. Now, for the Vikings, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is grappling with keeping Jefferson and Cousins, plus extending outside linebacker Danielle Hunter — and left tackle Christian Darrisaw at this time next year. Adofo-Mensah made tight end T.J. Hockenson the highest-paid player ever at his position five months ago.

But as a one-year compromise, perhaps two, the Vikings could probably finagle a way to make the numbers work for all parties. The comeuppance may bleed into the 2026-2028 salary cap with dead-money funds, but if Minnesota absolutely must retain Cousins and the rest of the gang, there’s a path. Executive Vice President Rob Brzezinski is good at his craft.

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.