Mike Zimmer has just one playoff victory in his nearly six years as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, and his team is a big underdog on the road against the New Orleans Saints to kick off the 2019 postseason, but regardless of what happens Saturday, Zimmer figures to be back for 2020 and beyond.
Or at least that’s according to Vikings owner Mark Wilf, who indicated in a Friday statement to ProFootballTalk that both Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman aren’t in jeopardy of being replaced.
“We value Mike and Rick’s leadership and we have every intent of Mike continuing as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings and Rick leading our football operations, next year and beyond,” Wilf said.
“Every intent,” of course, leaves room for a change of heart.earlier Friday that “ownership there is getting frustrated” with being “good … but not great” under Zimmer, suggesting the veteran coach could be fired if the Vikings fall to the Saints this weekend.
“The Wilf family didn’t spend huge bucks across the roster with big signings and massive extensions to be comfortable just going out in the Wild Card round,” La Canfora said. “The 2020 season was already set up as a pivotal one, with Kirk Cousins and Zimmer both in the final year of their deals, and executives around the NFL are convinced that big changes could be coming quickly in Minnesota if this team does not perform well in the playoffs.”
Hired in 2014 after six years as the Cincinnati Bengals‘ defensive coordinator, Zimmer has gone 57-38-1 as Minnesota’s head coach. He’s overseen two NFC North titles, three playoff appearances, and an NFC Championship bid, but he’s also failed to lead the Vikings to the playoffs three times, including during an 8-7-1 season with Cousins in 2018.
Spielman, meanwhile, has been with the team since 2006, when he joined the front office as the vice president of player personnel following a five-year run with the Miami Dolphins. Promoted to GM in 2012, he helped hire Zimmer to replace Leslie Frazier.