Purple Rumor Mill: Getting Something from Tampering, Cine + Booth Chopping Block, JJets’ Money

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

VikingsTerritory’s Purple Rumor Mill is a two-day chronicle each week. All the week’s Vikings rumors are lassoed and plopped in two spots — articles on Saturday and Sunday — for review. Today is the May 18th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Getting Something from Tampering, Cine + Booth Chopping Block, JJets’ Money

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 Vikings might be involved with arbitration for the Kirk Cousins + Falcons tampering ordeal.

kirk cousins
March 13, 2024. Newly signed Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Kirk Cousins sits down with Falcons Digital Producer Taylor Vismor to discuss his signing with the Falcons. Kirk talks about the exciting playmaking roster he is joining and what a move to Atlanta means to him and his family.

Last weekend, Pioneer Press’ Charley Walters claimed the Vikings were right in the mix monitoring and appealing TamperingGate. Walters explained, “There’s whispering that the Vikings have strongly appealed a Falcons tampering charge in the signing of Kirk Cousins that’s expected to end up in arbitration.”

There is very little precedent for the affected team to get goodies as the result of a tampering investigation. The team implicated in wrongdoing is usually penalized, with the other franchise left empty-handed.

But if arbitration is on the table, perhaps the Vikings and Falcons eventually agree to a draft pick swap or something of the sort.

Rumor: Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth are unlikely to be a part of the 2024 Vikings in the regular season.

Tampering
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Again from Pioneer Press, Charley Walters wrote last week, “Former Vikings 1st-round safety bust Lewis Cine, because he’s guaranteed $4 million over the next two seasons, is untradeable. It’s likely he’ll get waived in training camp. If a team were to claim him, it would be responsible for the $4 million. After clearing waivers, some team might be willing to sign him as a FA.”

Neither Cine nor Booth has taken flight inside the Vikings’ defense since joining the NFL in 2022. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah drafted the pair as his first two picks on the job a bit over two years ago, focusing on defense while leaving the aforementioned Cousins in place, along with Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen for one season. Fast forward to 2024, and all those veteran offensive pieces have departed.

Cine and Booth are on the roster bubble, indeed. Their status with the club may be a coin flip. Cine’s spot is probably more in jeopardy, as Booth actually played well in 2023.

Rumor: Justin Jefferson’s extension may take until July 31st or later to be finalized.

Justin Jefferson insulted
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Jefferson’s extension may be drawn out even further, possibly 2-3 more months. The Vikings evidently have a preference for such deals on our after July 31st.

“There’s a number of reasons to think an extension might take until closer to the season. The Vikings have a policy with their signing bonuses where July 31st is kind of a key date and they might want to wait until after that,” Graziano recently stated on NFL Live.

While no extension for Jefferson might’ve caused some heartburn among fans, other players from Jefferson’s class, like CeeDee Lamb of the Dallas Cowboys and Tristan Wirfs from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are also waiting for contracts. Jefferson is not on an island.

Graziano added, “And think about the agent, Brian Ayrault, who represents Justin Jefferson. Last year, he represented Joe Burrow and Nick Bosa. Burrow, now the highest-paid player in the league, Bosa, now the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league, and those deals got done pretty close to the start of the regular season. So I would preach patience on the Justin Jefferson deal.”

The extension will happen, even if everyone has to wait until the middle of the summer.


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.

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