Major Changes Made to Vikings Leadership After Back-to-Back Disappointing Seasons
The Minnesota Vikings have made two major changes to their leadership Monday morning.
The Vikings have not made the playoffs since 2019, and after back-to-back disappointing seasons, Vikings ownership made the decision for a full reset of the organization's leadership firing both Head Coach Mike Zimmer and General Manager Rick Spielman, according to Tom Pelissero.
Minnesota Vikings Fire GM Rick Spielman and Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Spielman has been in the Minnesota Vikings organization since 2006 and has been the team's GM since 2012. The Vikings last made the playoffs in 2019 and beat the New Orleans Saints on the road before falling to the San Fransico 49ers in the Divisional round.
Since, the Vikings missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, going 7-9 in 2020 and 8-9 in 2021. Spielman and Zimmer have been tied to the hip since Spielman hired Zimmer in 2014. In 2020 and 2021, the Vikings' offseasons moves were both used to re-tool the roster to make a playoff push, but neither paid off.
Mike Zimmer has been the head coach of the Vikings since 2014 and won 2 NFC North Titles in his 8-year tenure with the team. Zimmer was brought in to fix the defense. He did just that in his first four-season at the helm of the Vikings, which included a trip to the NFC Championship game in 2017.
Since the Vikings defense has taken a step back. In 2021, the Vikings defense ranked 30th in yards allowed per game and 24th in points per game. The Vikings ranked 26th against the run and 28th against the pass.
The offense, while better than the defense in 2021, had their own issues this past season, including poor clock management, questionable play-calling under a 1st-year offensive coordinator, and the offense would have stretches where they couldn't move the ball consistently.
Mike Zimmer finishes his tenure in Minnesota with a record of 72-56-1, two NFC North Championships, and a postseason record of 2-3.
What Is Next For The Minnesota Vikings?
The Vikings will look for a new General Manager, who will then make a decision on who will be the next Head Coach. Kirk Cousins has a $45 million cap hit in 2022 and that will be one of the big questions that the new leadership will have to tackle next season.
The team has limited cap space in 2022 but has a solid core of players on offense including Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Irv Smith Jr., Brian O'Neill, and 2021 first-round pick Christian Darrisaw.
The defense has some solid players returning in 2022 including Harrison Smith, Danielle Hunter, and Eric Kendricks, but whenever there is a big change in leadership, you can bet that the roster will have several changes next season, too.
While it is tough to say what the Vikings will look like next season, what we do know is that it will be a fresh set of eyes looking at the Vikings roster.
Other head coaches who were fired Monday morning include the Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio, Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy, and Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores. Bears GM Ryan Pace was also fired.
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