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Purple Rumor Mill: Jefferson Makes History, Odell Beckham, Kene Nwangwu’s Pace

Purple Rumor Mill: Jefferson Makes History, Odell Beckham, Kene Nwangwu’s Pace

Purple Rumor Mill: Jefferson Makes History, Odell Beckham, Kene Nwangwu's Pace
Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Purple Rumor Mill

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 November 27th 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.

Rumor: Justin Jefferson has put together the best-first three seasons by a wide receiver in NFL history.

Justin Jefferson Reacts to Monster Day in Buffalo 
Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Of course, this one is accurate, but there are a few caveats.

Foremost, the most-in-first-three-years receiving yards stat would belong to Odell Beckham if not for injury. Beckham played 43 games in his first three campaigns, whereas Jefferson is on pace for 50 games. With men tallying 100+ yards per game like this, the game variance is massive. However, Jefferson still has six games to pad his lead.

Too, Jefferson doesn’t score touchdowns like Beckham or Randy Moss. Through three seasons, Jefferson currently has 4,248 yards and 22 receiving touchdowns. Moss produced 4,163 yards and 43 touchdowns. Compared to Moss, Jefferson is a “yards guy.”

The record belongs to Jefferson, though, and his achievements are stunning, especially because some Vikings fans nearly died when Stefon Diggs was traded.

Rumor: Odell Beckham remains a free agent and could still theoretically land with the Vikings.

Sep 8, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; American football player Odell Beckham Jr. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Every time the Vikings win, the chances of Beckham joining the Vikings climbs. Beckham is like a hitman “these days,” available to the highest bidder with the best Super Bowl-bound record.

But Vegas doesn’t believe Minnesota is in play for the Beckham Sweepstakes. It’s the other good teams who have the best odds of signing him. Have a look at betting moneylines from OddsChecker.

The Vikings are nowhere to be found despite a fancy 9-2 record. Beckham probably won’t end up in Minnesota, and it’s a little odd that Vegas has essentially ignored the Vikings as a landing spot.

T.J. Hockenson was the Vikings splashy pass-catcher addition for the midseason Vikings.

Rumor: Kene Nwangwu is on an incredible pace returning kick returns for touchdowns.

PurplePTSD: Ex-Viking to Raiders, 3 MIN Stats to Know, Week 6 Storylines
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf (right) greets running back Kene Nwangwu. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Only eight other former NFLers have pulled off what Nwangwu has through 22 career games:

Players with 3+ Kick Return TDs,
thru First 22 Career Games,
NFL History:

🏈 Raymond Clayborn
🏈 Jacoby Ford (had 4)
🏈 Percy Harvin
🏈 Devin Hester
🏈 Tony Horne
🏈 Jerome Mathis
🏈 Kene Nwangwu
🏈 Tamarick Vanover
🏈 Darrick Vaughn

If Nwangu stays healthy, he’s on pace to break the all-time NFL record of 9 kick return touchdowns, held by former Viking Cordarrelle Patterson, in a little over three years. At his exact current pace, Nwangwu would break the record sometime in 2025 at age 27.

Most returners slow down or return to Earth in terms of return touchdowns, though. It’s just the way it goes. But his pursuit of Patterson will be fun to monitor.

He basically takes one to the house every seven games.


Welp, the Vikings Have a New Magic Number.

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 Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).