Defensive coordinator George Edwards is not expected to return to the Minnesota Vikings for the 2020-2021 season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Vikings are already in search of a new offensive coordinator following the hire of Kevin Stefanski as the next Cleveland Browns head coach and now they can add another prominent coaching position to their list of vacancies.

Edwards has served as the defensive coordinator for six seasons. He had previously been defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins in addition to serving other roles with the Dallas Cowboys, Browns and Miami Dolphins during his 22 years of professional coaching. 

The Vikings placed a few players among the league’s best in sacks and interceptions. Defensive end Danielle Hunter had the fourth-most sacks (14.5) in 2019 while safety Anthony Harris‘ six interceptions were tied for most across the NFL. The team was fairly average in terms of yards allowed per game (341.6) but allowed the fifth-fewest points per game (18.9). 

ESPN’s Courtney Cronin speculates that Minnesota could look to fill the role in-house with linebackers coach Adam Zimmer or defensive line coach Andre Patterson. The former is, of course, the son of head coach Mike Zimmer. Cronin also acknowledged that Edwards following Stefanski to Cleveland as defensive coordinator is something ‘to keep an eye on.’ Although titled as defensive coordinator, it was Zimmer, not Edwards, that called defensive plays in Minnesota. 

Indianapolis Colts defensive backs/cornerbacks coach Jonathan Gannon and 49ers defensive backs/passing game coordinator Joe Woods were also noted as potential candidates for defensive coordinator on Stefanski’s staff. 

The Vikings had a great season going 10-6 a year after finishing 8-7-1. The NFC North franchise pulled off one of the most stunning Wild Card round upsets with a 26-20 overtime win over the New Orleans Saints. However, they were outmatched in the divisional round, 27-10, by the San Francisco 49ers.