Purple Rumor Mill: Kirk and the Lions, Different HC Job for Flores, Cine and Booth

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Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson rushes Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. © Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK.

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 January 13th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Kirk and the Lions, Different HC Job for Flores, Cine and Booth

Remember — rumors are rumors. What you read on weekends in these pieces is what the world is talking about about the Vikings, not necessarily items that will come to fruition.

Here’s the first batch of the week.

Rumor: Kirk Cousins could join the Detroit Lions if Jared Goff and Detroit flame out of the playoffs.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

A new theory on the table, this one arrived courtesy of Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio this week.

He claimed Kirk Cousins could join the Lions in 2024 if the Vikings don’t re-up for his services and Detroit becomes disillusioned with Jared Goff. Florio said, “I don’t know how Lions fans feel about a [Jared Goff] for Cousins upgrade. I know how they should feel because it would be an upgrade, and it would put you in better position to potentially win a Super Bowl if you had Kirk Cousins there.”

This is unlikely to materialize — why would Detroit offload Goff after winning the division for the first time in 30 years? — although Cousins is from Michigan.

Goff, however, is six years younger than Cousins and is not recovering from a torn Achilles.

Rumor: With the Patriots off the table, Brian Flores could toss his hat in the ring for the Washington Commander head coaching job.

Why the Vikings Would
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

This rumor was created by USA Today’s Jarrett Bailey.

“Brian Flores just turned around a Vikings defense that was the worst in football in 2022, and he’d have a similar duty if he were to become the next head coach of the Commanders,” Bailey opined this week.

The rumor mill has also suggested that Flores won’t interview “for just any job” after what happened in Miami two years ago.

Bailey added, “Josh Harris and Commanders’ ownership seem very committed to a rebuild, so that should give whomever takes the job the confidence and security of time being on their side to make sure this thing is done well, and done right. They need help at every spot defensively, and they’ll also be in search of a franchise quarterback. If Flores builds a good staff on the offensive side of the ball, the rebuild should go smoothly.”

Flores is likelier to reunite with the Vikings for Year No. 2 than take the Commanders’ big job.

Rumor: Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth are not lost causes, per Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

Kirk and the Lions
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

A reporter asked general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah about Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth at Minnesota’s end-of-season press conference on Wednesday. The message? The story about Cine and Booth isn’t entirely written yet.

“Cine didn’t have a rookie year, pretty much. He got the injury, and now he comes to learn a new defense with Brian Flores, so I think that has to be considered,” the young executive replied.

Booth played 151 defensive snaps in 2023; Cine checked in at eight.

On Booth, Adofo-Mensah said, “Then, Andrew Booth, same thing, learning from a new defense, adjusting to this style of play. We are continuing to believe in our people, pour into them with our player development resources – all the things we have in this building – but, as I said earlier, it is a results business at the end of the day, and we will see where we end up.”

The takeaway? Give it time. Young players often — like, all the time — take longer than two seasons to blossom. Moreover, Cine and Booth are doing their part behind the scenes to contribute eventually.


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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