Purple Rumor Mill: Brian Flores’ Status, Keenan McCardell, Kirk Cryptic Tweet?

Brian Flores Earns
Kyle Terada-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 January 14 edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Brian Flores’ Status, Keenan McCardell, Kirk Cryptic Tweet?

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: Brian Flores will likely remain with the Vikings in 2024 after Jerod Mayo was hired in New England.

Kirk Cryptic
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports.

Flores could’ve grabbed a head coaching interview in New England after Bill Belichick departed this week. The Vikings defensive coordinator spent 15 seasons with the Patriots — or about as long as Brett Favre played for the Green Bay Packers.

But New England immediately promoted Jerod Mayo to the head coach, so Flores will not coach the Patriots, at least not anytime soon.

In theory, Flores could interview for an HC gig with the Seattle Seahawks or Los Angeles Chargers, but no such momentum has emerged. He’ll probably be a Viking in 2024.

Rumor: Keenan McCardell could depart the Vikings as some team’s offensive coordinator.

Not Brian Flores
Minnesota Vikings Wide Receivers Coach Keenan McCardell addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. McCardell joined the Vikings in 2021 as wide receivers coach and is credited with helping to develop Justin Jefferson and others.

McCardell will likely get nibbles from various teams, perhaps in an offensive coordinator role.

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco tweeted Wednesday, “Teams looking for an offensive coordinator should look at Vikings receiver coach Keenan McCardell. He knows the game and his players respect the hell out of him. He won’t be easy on anybody either. Pro’s pro.”

Vikings players and fans absolutely adore McCardell, so the Prisco tweet is no surprise. In fact, McCardell may have reached a spot in his coaching career where it would be weird if he didn’t latch on as an offensive coordinator somewhere in the league.

Last offseason, during the NFL’s annual coaching carousel, McCardell interviewed for OC positions with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but no deals materialized. Those conversations, though, proved the former NFL wideout was knocking on the door of his next chapter, which could arrive this offseason.

This one will happen sooner or later.

Rumor: Some believe Kirk Cousins posted a cryptic tweet this week.

Kirk Cousins Took
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

On Tuesday, Cousins, who doesn’t tweet often, published a tweet on the app that raised some eyebrows. The 35-year-old will be a free agent in March, and if the Vikings don’t extend his contract in the next nine weeks, he’ll hit the open market. Although, Cousins has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to leave Minnesota.

Nevertheless, he tweeted Tuesday, “Amendola’s quote, ‘We worked for Bill, but we played for Tom’ from the Dynasty trailer is about as strong a compliment as a QB can receive.”

The quote references an upcoming New England Patriots-themed documentary on tap to hit Apple TV in February. Former wide receiver Danny Amendola had high praise for Tom Brady, with an after-the-fact tip of the cap to Bill Belichick.

Here’s the tweet:

Pertaining to Cousins, his teammates have praised him this season and early in the offseason while the team’s management must decide if he returns. Of course, the Vikings’ coaching staff and general manager have been complimentary of Cousins, too — over and over — but if the front office decides to part ways with him, several players likely would’ve rather had him return for a seventh season in purple.

The so-called cryptic aspect of the tweet suggests that Cousins is applying the Amendola quote to his real-life situation in Minnesota.

It’s basically in the eye of the beholder to determine if Cousins’ tweet was conspiratorial.

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.