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The Minnesota Vikings are expected to fire head coach Mike Zimmer, following the team’s Week 18 matchup against the Chicago Bears according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.
Minnesota is 7-9 on the season and out of playoff contention, which Zimmer noted as a priority for the Wilf ownership in the offseason. He has two years left in his contract after the 2021-22 campaign.
Zimmer’s stability for the franchise will be remembered, spearheading the team since 2014 and coaching three seasons of double-digit win totals.
Under Zimmer, the Vikings went 76-56-1, winning the NFC North division title twice (2015, 2017). He’ll end his tenure with the third-most wins by a Vikings head coach, behind Bud Grant (281) Dennis Green (101).
He coached the Vikings to the 2017 NFC Championship Game, falling short of the Super Bowl with a 38-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has shadowed Zimmer through the hot seat talk. According to La Canfora, Vikings ownership’s plans to keep the executive regardless of their decision on Zimmer.
Spielman has deep roots with the Wilf ownership family. Vikings media has speculated that the tricky decision on Spielman may result in a demoted position from his GM’s duties.
Mike Zimmer’s defensive prowess and proven stability for most of his tenure with the Vikings should make him a top head coaching option in the upcoming offseason. Among the teams expected to vet head coaches, pending some firings, are the Las Vegas Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears and potentially the New York Giants. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is rumored to hit the market.
Zimmer’s impact helped propel quarterback Kirk Cousins — acquired by Minnesota in 2018 — into a career crescendo. Cousins went 18-12-1 in his first two seasons with the Vikings — a stark contrast to his early days in Washington, frequently pitted against former No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III.
Cousins’ future with the team comes to question if Zimmer is ousted, left with one year on his latest extension.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela