Vikings Rumors: The Trade Flip, Cousins Playing Basketball, & a Misguided Vikings Writer

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

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 Minnesota’s adjusted strategy at the trade deadline, Kirk Cousins leaning on a basketball metaphor, and a certain dingus at PurplePTSD.

The Vikings Rumors — 10.25.2023

Rumor #1 — The MNF Victory Means Minnesota Will Alter their Approach at the Trade Deadline

At the very least, a wholesale commitment to selling is likely off the table.

Losing to the Green Bay Packers in Week 8 would put Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in a tricky position. At 3-5, the Vikings would still have a path toward the #7 spot in the NFC and yet no one is mistaking a squeaking and a shellacking — squeaking into the playoffs before getting beat decisively — for meaningful success. What about marching into Lambeau and stealing away a win, though?

Doing so would put the Vikings at .500 with the trade deadline arriving in a couple days. The Packers game takes place on October 29th and the trade deadline hits on October 31st.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Minnesota
Oct 7, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on from the sidelines before the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Michigan Wolverines at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, we’ve explored some of the possibilities at the trade deadline for Minnesota. The profanity from Washington’s Jonathan Allen following the Commanders’ recent loss reveals how that team is still a mess. Will Kwesi pickup the phone to see about acquiring Chase Young or Montez Sweat?

Furthermore, one also has to think there would be some interest in Carolina’s Brian Burns if the edge rusher is available. Only 25, Burns could partner with Danielle Hunter and (when healthy) Marcus Davenport to form a terrifying trio. Crucially, all are young enough to play at a high level for several more years.

For now, all of the focus shifts from who could be sold to who could be acquired. Many within Vikings fandom will welcome the change of pace. Tentatively expect the Vikings to pull off a deal; the GM loves to trade.

Rumor #2 — Kirk Cousins is Playing Point Guard

The metaphor commonly comes up in his press conferences.

The QB1 insists that his job is to function as a point guard. He needs to distribute the ball to his various playmakers so they can put the ball in the basket (so to speak): “I’ve always just viewed it as being a point guard and distributing.” He goes on to clarify that he’s had that perspective since high school before crediting Kevin O’Connell with concocting the plays.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) leaves the field after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The question that prompts the reflections about being a point guard makes note of the various pass catchers in the game. It’s a good point. By the final whistle, the Vikings had completed passes to Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson, K.J. Osborn, Brandon Powell, Cam Akers, Josh Oliver, Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, and Trishton Jackson.

Or, put differently, the Vikings had four receivers, two tight ends, and three running backs be recipients of the football.

When Justin Jefferson is in the lineup, Minnesota is an entirely different team. He (very rightly) commands a humongous amount of attention. Without the WR1, though, the Vikings need to shift toward a committee approach. In Week 7, O’Connell did a brilliant job of allowing his point guard to kick the ball over to the team’s various playmakers.

Rumor #3 — There’s a Writer at PurplePTSD Who was Very Wrong on This One

There certainly is, and we’re not talking about Mr. Frey.

Instead, it’s yours truly. My work leading up to the game could commonly be found using predictions like this: “Like teenagers going into a party organized by Freddy Krueger, the Vikings are about to be in rough shape at the hands of the 49ers. Let’s hope Kirk Cousins is feeling extra tough. The expected outcome will involve the QB getting walloped early and often.”

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) catches a touchdown pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins (not pictured) as San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57) chases during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Over at Vikings Territory, my less-than-inspiring season prediction involved San Francisco walking away from U.S. Bank Stadium with a 34-24 victory. Instead, Minnesota secured the 22-17 victory. Not at all what I saw coming, folks. Even more shocking is the simple fact that Cousins didn’t get sacked a single time. Excellent stuff all around, from O’Connell to the offensive line.

To begin the year, I was too optimistic; currently, I’ve been too pessimistic. Is there a Goldilocks middle ground that will make your humble author get it right more often than not? One can certainly hope.

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.