Vikings Rumors: Lance Trade Theory, Shelley is Crucial, & An Expanded Budget

Duke Shelley Got His Revenge
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Duke Shelley (20) intercepts a pass intended for Chicago Bears wide receiver Chase Claypool (10) during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-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 supposed interest in trading for Trey Lance, Duke Shelley as a priority FA, and Minnesota’s salary cap.

The Vikings Rumors – 02.01.2023

Rumor #1 – Trey Lance is Going to Be Traded to the Vikings

If this one happens I’ll eat my hat.

There’s a tiny, minuscule, itty-bitty chance of this happening. Sure, there are likely people in Minnesota’s building who think highly of the young QB, but we’re a long way from seeing Minnesota trade for him.

Apparently, the Vikings Could Have Their Future QB for a Bargain Price
September 18, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) during the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Plus, look at it from San Francisco’s side. Jimmy Garoppolo is heading toward free agency. Brock Purdy is heading for a recovery that could take half a year. Furthermore, Lance was chosen 3rd overall in the 2021 Draft. Folks, we are just getting into 2023. The young QB has had a redshirt rookie season and then an injury-shortened second season. And SF traded away a true boatload of picks – 3 first-round picks and a third – to hop up for Lance.

Lance still has two years left before a potential fifth-year option. Expect the 49ers to keep him in town.

Rumor #2 – Duke Shelley is a Priority Free Agent

Duke Shelley was sensational for the Vikings in 2022. Take a peak at a quick snapshot of some of what he accomplished:

Let’s not forget some of the backstory for the 26-year-old corner. He was cut by the Bears and is 5’9″, 176 pounds. He was a sixth-round selection who was making a mere $965,000 last year. It’s safe to say that very few people could have foreseen how well he played.

PFF thinks Shelley was Minnesota’s “secret superstar.” The analytics site also says he’s a free agent the Vikings “can’t afford to lose.” It’s hard to disagree.

Rumor #3 – Minnesota Will Work with an Expanded Salary Cap


Now, it’s not unexpected news, but it’s still good to see. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will have a budget that’s coming in at $224.8 million for the season (a bit of an oversimplification, but let’s run with it).

The NFL Salary Cap Will Jump to a Record-High in 2023
Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

With the NFL’s overall cap number in place, the Vikings can move forward with more certainty. There’s an awful lot that can be done to shake money loose, and we’ll be sure to see some cuts, extensions, restructures, and/or trades in the coming weeks and months. At present, the Vikings are more than $20 million over the salary cap.

Free agency begins on March 15.

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