Purple rumor mill: Baker Mayfield on the horizon, Ndamukong Suh, a deal for Jefferson

October 3, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

VikingsTerritoryit is purple rumor mill is a chronicle of two days each week. All of the week’s rumors are lassoed and filed in two places – the Saturday and Sunday articles – for review. Today is the June 12 edition.

Remember – rumors are rumors. What you read over the weekend in these articles is what the world is talking about regarding the Vikings, not necessarily things that will come to fruition.


Rumor: Baker Mayfield could eventually land with the Vikings.

November 28, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

This rumor comes from ESPN’s Dan Graziano.

He reportedly made calls to gauge teams’ interest in Mayfield, and the Vikings, Saints and Lions were the franchises he settled on for landing spots.

To be clear, Mayfield-to-Vikings would be a 2023 transaction, not a summer trade involving Kirk Cousins. The theory, if it comes to fruition, would mean Cousins ​​would flounder under new head coach Kevin O’Connell in 2022. Then the team would dump Cousins ​​elsewhere – with his consent via the no-trade clause — and Minnesota would sign for the Mayfield era.

According to Graziano, it would be a Jameis Winston-type move currently sponsored by the Saints.

Mayfield at Minnesota is unlikely, generally speaking, but Graziano’s theory makes sense if the Vikings finish in the 8-9 range again.

However, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah would likely just draft a rookie quarterback from the strong 2023 draft class.

Rumor: Ndamukong Suh is on the Vikings’ free agent radar.

Free-agent TDs Vikings can target with Akiem Hicks off the board
January 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Ndamukong Suh. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports.

This one was created by Bleacher Report in an article detailing “a move every team needs to make” before the start of the 2022 regular season.

Since March, the Vikings have been whispered about as a new home for Akiem Hicks, a defensive lineman who terrorized Minnesota for years. Hicks had ties to Vikings defensive boss Ed Donatell, so Hicks-to-Vikings carried weight.

Alas, Hicks signed with Suh’s former team, the Buccaneers, leaving Suh “out in the cold” for a destination in 2022.

If the Vikings aren’t sold on Armon Watts up front on defense, exploring a free agent addition Suh adds up. Minnesota could afford it with its existing ceiling space.

Rumor: Justin Jefferson’s next contract will define the WR market.

Kirk Cousins' Eventual End Lines Up With Justin Jefferson's Wallet
February 4, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; A detailed view of the Minnesota Vikings Teeth Grid. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

About a dozen wide receivers have been explosively paid this offseason.

Extension chatter about Jefferson will heat up next spring, and when it does, Jefferson’s new deal will “settle the market.” He could earn $35 million per season.

Of course, if it produces a “gap year,” enthusiasm for a gargantuan deal will wane. But does anyone believe Jefferson will struggle with an offensive head coach?

No.

Jefferson’s extension won’t officially go into effect until 2025, but the terms of the deal will soon begin to be negotiated. And they will be huge for Jefferson, rest assured.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. He host a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, airing every Wednesday with Raun Saw and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, “The Sopranos” and The Doors (the band).

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