Vikings Rumors: Tampering Draft Boost, Heading to the Altar, and a Positive Prognosis

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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 the Vikings maybe getting a boost in the draft due to some Atlanta tampering, Minnesota venturing toward a marriage, and the T.J. Hockenson health update.

Vikings Rumors: 04.17.2024

Rumor #1 — The Tampering Decision Will Arrive Just Prior to the 2024 NFL Draft

Mike Florio has written quite a bit about the Atlanta/Kirk Cousins tampering situation on Pro Football Talk.

Recently, he tossed out a theory that caused a lot of people to take notice (such as Ben Leber). Essentially, Florio thinks it’s possible that just ahead of the 2024 Draft, the NFL could resolve the Atlanta tampering situation by forcing the Falcons to send over No. 8 to the Vikings in exchange for No. 11.

The theory: “The Falcons have the eighth pick in round one. The Vikings have the eleventh. What if the punishment is as simple as the Falcons and Vikings flip-flopping the two picks?”

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

He goes on: “The NFL set the precedent last year, with the sudden and unexpected news of the Cardinals-Eagles settlement. It would make sense for it to happen again, between the Falcons and the Vikings.”

Jumping from No. 11 to No. 8 would be massive for the Vikings. Most prominently, there would be a greater chance of landing an excellent passer. But then there’s the added chance of snagging the draft’s best defender, someone who could reasonably still be on the board at No. 8 given the excellent talent at QB, WR, and OT.

A final thought from Florio: “The end result could, and perhaps should, be that the Vikings will have the eighth and 23rd picks. Which makes their potential effort to trade up into the top five a little easier. Or maybe they’ll just stay put at eight and wait for a quarterback they like to fall to them.”

Rumor #2 — The Vikings are Looking to Head to the Altar on Thursday, April 25th

The Minnesota Vikings used a marriage metaphor to describe the relationship with a young passer.

More specifically, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah offered the thought while reflecting on what he picked up from Kevin O’Connell while putting together a process for onboarding a quarterback. The GM’s words: “Since we got here, Kevin’s really been adamant about when you select a quarterback, it’s a marriage. It’s that serious, and that level of commitment and work that should go into it.”

Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell celebrates with quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) after a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Later on in the presser, Adofo-Mensah notes that he’s in love with multiple passers, but Minnesota isn’t going into a situation where they snag a QB if there’s only halfhearted belief in his potential.

Just as a marriage should be taken seriously, so too should drafting a quarterback very highly be seen as a major commitment. If the expected occurs — a QB getting sent to Minnesota toward the top of the draft — then the Vikings’ leadership is committed to pouring ample time, energy, and resources into ensuring the team/player relationship flourishes over the long haul.

Rumor #3 — T.J. Hockenson is Making Great Progress in His Injury Recovery

That’s the word from the man himself.

On Monday, Kevin O’Connell and Brian O’Neill got the press conference started. Afterwards, T.J. Hockenson stepped up to the microphone. A lot of the focus of his presser was on his response to the hit from Kerby Joseph that resulted in the major knee injury.

The star tight end also offered some good news about how he’s recovering. Hockenson notes that he’s working through a “process” and that he’s “attacking it day by day.” And then his broader objective: “Obviously, the ultimate goal is to get back out on the field and do everything, so just pushing towards that goal.”

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants cornerback Rodarius Williams (left) and safety Landon Collins (21) right) tackle Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) during the third quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

O’Connell largely echoed what Hockenson would go on to say. The team’s head coach is optimistic about the way Hockenson is progressing while still being sober minded: “We’re going to be smart about it throughout the process.”

Getting T.J. Hockenson back into the offense will be a major win for Minnesota. The TE1 helps to take the heat off of Justin Jefferson and will function as a great target for whoever is throwing the pigskin. Were it not for the injury, Hockenson would have surpassed 100 catches and 1,000 receiving yards last year.

But, of course, the long-term needs to be the main focus. Let the talented tight end get to 100% health and only then get him back onto the field. Thankfully, things appear to be moving in the right direction.

Hockenson will turn 27 on July 3rd.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference 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.