VikingsTerritory’s Purple Rumor Mill is a two-day chronicle each week. All the week’s rumors are lassoed and plopped in two spots — articles on Saturday and Sunday — for review. Today is the January 29th edition.

Remember — rumors are rumors. What you read on weekends in these pieces is what the world is talking about pertaining to the Vikings, not necessarily items that will come to fruition.

Purple Rumor Mill: No Love for Kevin O’Connell, Trey Lance, Justin Fields

Rumor: Kevin O’Connell won 13 games in 2022 and received no love for Coach of the Year.

No Love for Kevin
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell looks on before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

This one is correct — and quite sad.

If it’s any consolation, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid didn’t get any consideration either, so the award isn’t a merit of best coaches. It’s mostly the trendy skippers.

Bill Belichick probably could’ve been named Coach of the Year 10 times — at least — since taking over in New England. No cigar.

Still, O’Connell was not a Coach of the Year finalist, evidence that voters truly believe everything about the 2022 Vikings was fraudulent or too good to be true.

Therefore, it’s up to O’Connell to follow up his opening salvo in Minnesota with a spectacular second act.

Rumor: The Vikings could trade for Trey Lance if the 49ers get married to Brock Purdy.

September 18, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) passes the football against Seattle Seahawks defensive end Darrell Taylor (52) during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

This theory was advanced by Judd Zulgad from SKOR North and VikingsWireJanik Eckardt, and others.

And it makes sense.

San Francisco now has Brock Purdy at their disposal, and would they truly look that man dead in the pupils and say, “Sir, what you’ve done for us this season isn’t quite good enough. We’re going back to the other guy.” Probably not.

If Purdy is “the guy” from here on out for the 49ers, Lance will become a lame duck. Lance is from Marshall, Minnesota, went to North Dakota State, and Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has ties to the 49ers organization. The communication channels are tailor-made for this. Adofo-Mensah worked with those 49ers boys for six years.

Should the Vikings want to end the Cousins era in the next couple of months — nobody knows if that’s even remotely a possibility — trading for Lance really makes sense. Think about it.

One Mr. Minnesota [probably] departs in Adam Thielen, and another one takes the throne. Boom.

Rumor: The Vikings could also look at Justin Fields if the Bears fall in love with a QB at their No.1 overall pick.

Mystery Shrouds Vikings at Bears Matchup
Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) reacts after getting hit in the back by Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (90) during the second half at Soldier Field. The Minnesota Vikings won 17-9. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

This rumor was born at The Viking Age.

Writer Chris Schad mentioned about Fields to the Vikings, “I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way the Chicago Bears would ever trade Justin Fields, let alone within the NFC North. But there’s a chance that the Bears could be inclined to trade him, and if they are, the Vikings should be making a call.”

Schad added, “The thought of trading Fields to a division rival could scare off the Bears, but if they make the best offer, it might make sense – especially if they don’t think he’s the guy.”

VikingsTerritory does not subscribe to this theory, mainly because the Bears seem to enjoy Fields as the QB1.

“Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the front office didn’t show fear in making trades within the NFC North during last year’s draft, and it could be smart to at least call the Bears to see what they are thinking,” Schad concluded.

The Vikings passed the football the third most leaguewide in 2022. O’Connell apparently wants to fling the rock all over the field — that’s what former quarterbacks prefer. Chicago styled a run-first offense that rivals the Baltimore Ravens in frequency. So, do you think O’Connell would jump in the lap of a run-first offense, especially after Mike Zimmer was lambasted for orchestrating such a scheme down the stretch of his Vikings tenure?

We do not.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by

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