Purple Rumor Mill: Kirko and Steelers, Danielle Hunter “Hard to Keep,” Jayden Daniels

Kirk Cousins Wins Award
Kirk Cousins

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 17th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Kirko and Steelers, Danielle Hunter “Hard to Keep,” Jayden Daniels

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: The Steelers are a new dark horse destination for Kirk Cousins’ free-agent services.

Kirko and Steelers
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

If Kirk Cousins walks to free agency, which feels like a real possibility as of February 17th, the Pittsburgh Steelers are a dark horse contender for his services. The fit just makes sense. This week, Pro Football Talk‘s Mike Florio said on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan radio station, “I was talking to some people last week who seem to be intrigued at the possibility of the Steelers making a play for Kirk Cousins, and those people were very [close] to if not within the Kirk Cousins camp.”

Pittsburgh may need a new quarterback in the next 3-4 months. That’s the word, as Kenny Pickett, who began 2023 as the team’s starter, floundered midseason and never regained a job from Mason Rudolph after recovering from an injury. Pickett still has time to develop into something, but the Steelers might’ve bungled that 2022 draft pick.

This rumor should be considered worthwhile. Cousins would fit well in Pittsburgh.

Rumor: The buzz is that Danielle Hunter will be “hard to keep” for the Vikings.

Vikings Should Feast
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports.

According to ESPN, Hunter will indeed be “hard to keep” this offseason. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler wrote Saturday, “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.”

Hunter recorded a career year in 2023, recording 16.5 sacks, a career-high. That mark also ranked fifth leaguewide, trailing T.J. Watt (19.0), Trey Hendrickson (17.5), Josh Allen (17.5), and Khalil Mack (17.0). He also led the NFL in tackles for loss (23). Not bad.

Fowler named a couple of possible landing spots for Hunter, too, “Chicago could look to add a pass-rusher to complement Montez Sweat in free agency and is very high on Hunter. The Jacksonville Jaguars are another team to watch, though they have to figure out Josh Allen’s future.”

VikingsTerritory still believes Minnesota will re-sign Hunter, although it doesn’t doubt the pricetag will be lofty.

Rumor: LSU’s Jayden Daniels would enjoy joining the Vikings

New Fox Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN connected Daniels to the Vikings this week. Dan Graziano wrote, “Minnesota knows it eventually has to address the quarterback position long term, and the notion of bringing in Daniels to pair with their star LSU alum wideout Justin Jefferson has appeal to some in the organization.”

That was the opening salvo for Daniels-to-Vikings chatter after the Super Bowl. Then, KSTP’s Darren Wolfson sweetened the pot with a tweet, “And Daniels, no surprise, would enjoy landing here = the word.”

Here’s the tweet:

Wolfson knows his stuff and is extremely credible, so keep all Daniels-to-Minnesota hope alive.


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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