Vikings Rumors: Cousins Ready by OTAs, The NASA Nickname, & Firing Up the FA Flirtations

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
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Though we’re now into the portion of the year when Vikings rumors aren’t as abundant, we’ll still be highlighting some of the purple rumblings.

The “Vikings Rumor Wrangle” is a series that keeps readers informed on what’s being whispered about in Vikings Land. In this iteration, we discuss Kirk Cousins looking toward OTAs for his return, NASA stepping up with a tremendous nickname, and Minnesota’s need to consider adding some free agent talent.

The Vikings Rumors: 11.08.2023

Rumor #1 — Kirk Cousins Will be Ready by OTAs

The thought arrives simply because of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s words. Yes, the ambitious possibility is on the mind of both the GM and the QB.

Take a look at what the GM had to say: “Talking with Kirk, the way his mind works, he’s so process-oriented and so intentional, he’s talking about being back at OTAs and doing all the different things, where his schedule is going to be. That’s how his mind works.”

Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) drops back to pass against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

In a surprise to nobody who has been following Cousins, the man is already planning on how he can get back on the football field. His commitment to the game has never been in question (apart from a recent and ridiculous criticism from Mike Florio over at Pro Football Talk). During the offseason, Cousins hired a full-time employee to help him to take care of his body, just another bit of evidence that he’s not going to lose due to being halfhearted in his commitment to football.

He’s a true professional, someone who has distinguished himself largely due to a relentless hustle and compete.

Of course, the other thing that stands out is that Cousins is going to be a free agent. Clearly, that reality hasn’t been the death knell for his desire to stick around in Minnesota. Expect the Vikings and their QB1 to continue their partnership into 2024 and expect Cousins to attack his rehab with vigor. Being a full-go at OTAs isn’t guaranteed but I’m not betting against him.

Rumor #2 — NASA Has Kicked a Sensational Nickname Toward Josh Dobbs

Josh Dobbs is a rocket scientist, a story that’s getting as much airtime as the grand tales about Adam Thielen’s UDFA journey (and potential career selling dental equipment).

The recent tweet from the out-of-this-world space agency won’t quiet those stories. Take a look at what was sent out: “Congratulations @josh_dobbs1 on yesterday’s big win! Looks like you rock(et) on and off the field. We heard you’ve even got a new nickname, the “Passtronaut.” If the suit fits, wear it.” The dads in the crowd will be forgiven if the message inspires a few chuckles.

Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) reacts after running for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Dobbs noticed the praise, responding that he’s “shooting for the stars” (a message he communicates with the help of some emojis that your author isn’t accustomed to using in his writing for PurplePTSD).

The nickname — The Passtronaut — is marvellous and has already been added to PurplePTSD‘s nickname tracker for the 2023 Minnesota Vikings. Vikings fans will be looking for Dobbs The Passtronaut to keep the good times rolling when he takes on the Saints on Sunday. Expect the crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium to offer a hearty applause when the new QB1 steps onto the field.

Rumor #3 — The Vikings Need to Start Courting the League’s Remaining Free Agents

Well, certainly not all of them, but some at select positions would make sense.

Cam Akers is done for the year, the victim of a torn Achilles. Meanwhile, Jaren Hall is working through concussion protocol while Nick Mullens remains on the IR. In other words, the running back and quarterback spots are aching for some help.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Cam Akers (31) catches a pass in the second half as Chicago Bears linebacker T.J. Edwards (53) closes in to defend at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

One also thinks of the wide receiver position since K.J. Osborn left the game due to a concussion. Justin Jefferson is on the IR but could come back this week. Generally speaking, Minnesota is fairly cautious when it comes to welcoming players back from injury. After all, they’re seeking to blend short- and long-term goals within their competitive rebuild. Prematurely welcoming a player back — with its threat of making an injury much worse — threatens to undermine the team’s commitment to building a perpetual contender for years to come.

At 5-4, though, Minnesota may be feeling extra anxious to get their best player back onto the field. Dobbs may not be a perfect QB, but a Justin Jefferson/Jordan Addison/T.J. Hockenson pass-catching trio is capable of covering up a multitude of quarterback sins (especially when Kevin O’Connell is constructing such brilliant game plans).

Minnesota currently has a touch below $8 million in cap space.

Editor’s Note: Information from Over the Cap helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.