Purple Rumor Mill: Adam Thielen, the Hot Seat for One Starter, Vikings’ Super Bowl Stakes

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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 July 7th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Adam Thielen, the Hot Seat for One Starter, Vikings’ Super Bowl Stakes

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: Adam Thielen could find his way back to the Vikings this summer or next offseason.

Purple Rumor Mill
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Thielen recently worked out with new Vikings quarterback J.J. McCarthy in Minnesota — and sang the young man’s praises thereafter.

“I’m sure we’ll get a few more sessions in before heading back to training camp,” Thielen said on KFAN this week about his workout with McCarthy.

“I mean, he’s got all the tools, that’s for sure. I mean, he can he can swing it. He’s super accurate. You know, we’re in shorts and t-shirts out there. But yeah, you can see a lot just from accuracy, timing, and those kinds of things when you’re when you’re running around out there. He’s got a maturity about him that you can tell that goes beyond his age. And, you know, that’s step number one as a QB, right, to have that maturity level, to have that kind of poise or kind of that aura around you that, you know, just feels like confidence and just a good good person,” he added.

Some fans construed the throwing session and subsequent comments as a signal that Thielen could return to the Vikings. It’s a possibility because the Panthers have two new wide receivers (Diontae Johnson, Xavier Lagette) on their roster, but generally speaking, Thielen to Minnesota in 2024 is a longshot.

Rumor: Sam Darnold is on the hot seat in 2024.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

The term usually applies to coaches and general managers, but last week, Pro Football Network delved into NFL players on the hot seat. And for the 2024 Vikings, that’s evidently new quarterback Sam Darnold.

PFN revealed one player per team under the most pressure, and for Minnesota, Darnold got the nod.

“Darnold has managed to stay in the league for seven seasons after being selected third overall, but he’s never stayed healthy in any of those campaigns,” PFT’s Lorenzo Reyna wrote. “The Vikings, even with rookie J.J. McCarthy on board, present his fourth and potentially final NFL chance as a starting quarterback.”

Darnold took over in March for Kirk Cousins, who left for the money-filled pastures of the Atlanta Falcons. Darnold will get an audition for QB1 in Minnesota, but “hot seat” terminology is a little strange. Darnold has been on the hot seat for about six years because of his draft stock. Most consider him a patchover quarterback to McCarthy.

Rumor: The Vikings are Super Bowl contenders, according to Camryn Bynum.

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Safety Camryn Bynum expects his team to win it all in 2024, an achievement the Vikings have not accomplished in 58 previous tries.

Of course, according to sportsbooks, Minnesota is only forecasted to win about seven games, but don’t tell that to Bynum, who enters Year No. 4 in Minnesota this September.

“I expect a Super Bowl,” Bynum told NFL.com last week. “Everybody says that, and everybody should say that. But you look at the guys on the team, you look at the locker room, all the experience we have. Look how much depth we have, especially on the defense. So many guys. It’s almost weird looking around, you’re like, OK how are we all going to get on the field? There’s just so many ballers.”

Minnesota has the eighth-worst odds to win Super Bowl LIX next February, assigned a +8,000 moneyline by oddsmakers, territory shared with the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints.

Bynum added, “You look at the offense. There’s a baller at every position when you look across the whole board. That’s why I’m confident when I say I expect us to be a Super Bowl team. But really, our preparation has to tell it all. You say that every year. Every team says that every year, but we have to put all these names and everything. We have to make it real.”

It’s fine that Bynum is excited about the team’s 2024 chances. But the Vikings probably won’t become the first team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with a rookie quarterback, nor will Sam Darnold lead them to the Promised Land.

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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 MIN 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.