Purple Rumor Mill: A Kirk Cousins Rumor Finally Dies, Patriots Pain, Trading Up in the Draft

to Move On at QB
Brad Rempel-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 March 2nd edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: A Kirk Cousins Rumor Finally Dies, Patriots Pain, Trading Up in the Draft

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 everpresent “Kirk Cousins to 49ers” rumor is finally dead. Finally.

Rumor Finally Dies
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

It only took six years.

Every Vikings offseason since 2020 — and arguably before for the other team — Kirk Cousins has been at least obliquely linked to the San Francisco 49ers through the rumor mill. Well, that’s done.

San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan told NBC Sports this week, “It’s a nice feeling, I know that — having stability at that position … Now, it’s like kind of building around Purdy.” An expensive Cousins won’t join the 49ers, a franchise with an inexpensive quarterback that just reached the Super Bowl and had a reasonable shot at winning the thing. Purdy, at one million bucks, is a better value than Cousins at $45 million, and even Shanahan knows it.

So long to the annual rumor. Purdy ended it.

Rumor: The Patriots are making it difficult for the Vikings to trade up on draft night, reportedly leaning toward sticking-and-picking at No. 3.

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports.

Nothing’s easy, is it?

MassLive reported Thursday, Day No. 3 of the NFL Combine, “According to multiple sources, the Patriots are planning to draft a quarterback with the No. 3 pick. One NFL executive, outside of New England, relayed that it’s widely expected in league circles that quarterbacks will be selected with the first three picks in April.”

Before free agency, on paper, New England possesses these roster needs:

  • Quarterback
  • Wide Receiver (x2)
  • Offensive Tackle (x2)
  • EDGE Rusher

So, some — this website included — believed New England could be identified as a reasonable trade companion for the Vikings and other teams seeking to shuffle up the board for a quarterback. The Patriots have more team roster needs than most, meaning trading back from No. 3 would stockpile the draft cabinet.

But if the MassLive reporting is accurate, well, the Vikings will have to find another way to trade up, possibly with the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 5 for J.J. McCarthy, for example.

Rumor: The Vikings, though, are indeed willing to trade up the board on draft night if they can find a trade partner.

Impasse with Kirk
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

If there’s a will, there’s a way.

According to Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling, Minnesota won’t be hesitant to trade up the board for its quarterback of the future, especially if Kirk Cousins leaves in free agency. March 11th is the start of free agency with “legal tampering.” On that day or soon after, Vikings fans should learn the Cousins verdict.

Regarding the Vikings’ would-be bold philosophy of trading up on draft night, Goessling claimed on the Access Vikings podcast that general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah won’t be deterred. “If they were to say, ‘We have to be in the top five to get one of these guys, or the top two or three to get one of these guys,’ I don’t think they’re going to let that hold them back. I really think, based on the way they operated last year and the things I’ve heard, if they see there is an opportunity to get the guy of the next 20 years, they are not going to let something stop them from doing it.”

The Vikings have never used a Top 10 draft pick on a quarterback, so Adofo-Mensah doing so would surely make purple history.

Goessling added, “I really believe, based on how they think about this position and some of the things I’ve heard about the ways they may approach this draft, I just don’t think they’re going to be pennywise and tomfoolish. They’re not going to be spendthrift about it.”

And Goessling has been consistent on this topic, so perhaps Minnesota will be bold on draft night.


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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