Vikings Rumors: The Packers’ Downturn, CB Addition Needed, & Cook Stand Off

NFL: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve officially transitioned into the portion of the year when Vikings rumors are going to be coming fast and furious.

As a result, I’m returning to the “Vikings Rumor Wrangle,” a series I’ve leaned on previously to keep readers informed on what’s being whispered about in Vikings Land. In this iteration, we discuss the recent comments from a Packers All Pro, how Minnesota still needs more CB help, and a seemingly tricky situation between Minnesota and Dalvin Cook.

The Vikings Rumors – 04.19.2023

Rumor #1 – The Packers are Heading Toward a Rebuild

Well, it’s impossible to know. What gives the theory credence is that All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari said that’s what seems most likely.

Any day now, Aaron Rodgers will get sent over to the New York Jets. As a result, Vikings fans will breathe a sigh of relief. The future Hall-of-Fame QB has put together an excellent career even though he has consistently gotten on the nerves of many.

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Jan 8, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts after an interception was nullified by a Detroit Lions penalty during the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK

The transition to Jordan Love – who, for the record, may actually be really good – has Bakhtiari thinking a rebuild may be incoming. While in an interview for the Bussin’ with the Boys podcast, the LT prophesied about some short-term hardship: “Could the Packers be really good? Yeah, I certainly would love that and hope so. But also I’d be ignorant to say that, does this look like a rebuild? Probably.”

A stumbling Packers team would certainly make life easier for the Vikings.

Rumor #2 – Minnesota’s Corner Room Got Deeper but Still Needs More Help

Earlier in the week, we learned that Minnesota added a sixth corner to their roster: Joejuan Williams. The 6’3″, 210-pound defensive back is coming over from the Patriots. NE made him a 2nd-round selection back in 2019.

Obviously, we think of the Brian Flores connection to New England. Even though Minnesota’s DC didn’t overlap with Williams, it’s likely fair to conclude that he values many of the same things New England does.

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Aug 11, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Joejuan Williams (33) walks onto the field before a preseason game against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Bringing in competition is a good thing, especially since the player we’ve been discussing is a recent high draft pick who is still only 25. Nevertheless, more work remains. The Vikings had a whopping ten corners on their depth chart last offseason, so the mere six corners currently available feels a bit light.

During the draft, the Vikings will seriously consider adding not just a single corner but multiple corners. With their first pick (whether that occurs in RD1 or later), may go towards someone like Deonte Banks, Kelee Ringo, Cam Smith, or Emmanuel Forbes. Brian Branch, listed as a safety, may become Minnesota’s slot corner.

Expect corner additions. It’s essentially a necessity.

Rumor #3 – Things Don’t Look Good Between the Vikings and Dalvin Cook

Very true.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler has suggested Minnesota is considering “all options”, a reality that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah seemingly confirmed at his recent press conference. The GM’s insistence that “in theory” the team could make a Dalvin Cook/Alexander Mattison partnership work isn’t exactly reason to believe #4 will be sticking around.

Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) celebrates a first down against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Now, there are serious downsides to moving on from Cook. He’s a team captain who is still one of the best running backs in the NFL. Kevin O’Connell wants to run the ball better and Cook is likely the best bet at thriving on the ground. Nevertheless, the potential to save cap room and keep reformulating the roster may prove too appealing to Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell.

At present, Cook is carrying a $14.1 million cap hit on Minnesota’s 2023 budget. He rushed for 1173 yards last season while chipping in 8 TDs. Overall, it was a rock-solid season, but not the next-level brilliance we’ve seen in the past.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.