Vikings Rumors: Mullens on The Move, Trade Detail Locks In, and Clearing $200 Million

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
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Since we’re officially into the portion of the year when Vikings rumors are arriving fast and furious, we’ll 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 Nick Mullens (potentially) being on the move, a Vikings trade detail locking in, and the major money flying around Detroit.

Vikings Rumors: 05.15.2024

Rumor #1 — Nick Mullens is Going to be Traded Out of Minnesota

Nick Mullens is a good football player. Teams could do far, far worse than him for a QB2/bridge option. The problem is simply that Minnesota has a crowded QB room.

Sam Darnold landed a single-season deal that promises to kick over $10 million, a total that is far larger than Mullens’ $2.23 million cap charge in 2024. If Mullens did get traded, then the Vikings could save $1.855 million.

And then there’s J.J. McCarthy, the 21-year-old passer who is being entrusted with growing into Minnesota’s QB solution for the next decade. He, too, is a sure thing to be on the Vikings’ final roster.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles
Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and quarterback Nick Mullens (12) in the tunnel against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Those basic facts point toward a scenario where either Jaren Hall or Mullens is going to need to play quarterback elsewhere. As a 5th-round pick, Hall looks like the safer bet to be kept around.

Josh Frey assessed the situation over the weekend, offering a trio of teams that could reasonably be interested in trading for the veteran Mullens. Frey looks at Chicago, Los Angeles (Rams), and Baltimore as spots that could use a boost at QB2. In all likelihood, the Vikings could secure a late-round selection or maybe need to do a pick swap.

Toss another option into the mix: the Las Vegas Raiders, a team with some roster talent but an underwhelming QB situation. After all, Mullens has a history there, so a move back to Sin City wouldn’t be totally shocking.

Rumor #2 — The Vikings Saw a Final Trade Detail Lock Into Place

Yes, they certainly did.

Back on Halloween, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah decided to ship Ezra Cleveland over to Jacksonville. The benefit was threefold: clearing room for Dalton Risner to be the uncontested starter, save some cap space, and recoup draft capital. More specifically, the Vikings picked up the top pick of the 6th, which ended up landing at No. 177 overall.

Nov 24, 2023; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Gavin Sawchuk (27) celebrates with offensive lineman Walter Rouse (75) after a touchdown against the TCU Horned Frogs at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Terry-USA TODAY Sports

And how did Adofo-Mensah use that pick? He sunk it into Oklahoma left tackle Walter Rouse.

Any chance Mr. Rouse becomes the Cleveland replacement? The left guard situation isn’t overly inspiring. Rouse wouldn’t be the first college tackle who needed to kick inside to snag a starting spot in the NFL. After all, that’s exactly what Cleveland did after a successful college career as the left tackle at Boise State.

Regardless of how the position assignment plays out, Rouse is now a Viking as a direct result of Adofo-Mensah trading Cleveland for a 6th. Look for him to be on the final roster as depth at OT and as a potential option at OG.

Rumor #3 — The Lions’ Jared Goff Just Soared Past $200 Million in His Contract

The possibility is there. Two tiny words — “up to” — are doing a ton of work.

The word from The Athletic is that Goff “agreed to a four-year contract extension worth up to $212 million with $170 million guaranteed, per a league source.” The major motivation for keeping him around is due to the team’s success and his strong individual stats: “Last season, Goff helped the Lions win a division title for the first time in 30 years and two playoff games in one of the best seasons of his career. He finished second in the NFL in passing yards (4,575) and fourth in touchdown passes (30).”

Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Pat Jones II (91) sacks Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of Detroit, there is going to be a lot of skepticism about the deal. Yes, Goff has played well, but detractors will point to the tremendous offensive line and great skill (especially Amon-Ra St. Brown). And then having Ben Johnson at OC doesn’t hurt, either.

Minnesota fans will think back to Kirk Cousins and his $180 million deal over four seasons. They may also start thinking ahead to what J.J. McCarthy could demand if the RD1 passer thrives in the coming seasons. Ideally, McCarthy plays well enough that there’s even a debate about how large his next contract should be.

In the meantime, Goff is going to be the Lions’ QB1. We’ll see if the large investment pays off in the Motor City.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and 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.