For all those whispers on the periphery, it appears the Vikings remain committed to their coach. At least for now.
Head coach Mike Zimmer and the Vikings came to terms on an extension, general manager Rick Spielman announced today. The extension really is more of an exercised option, as Zimmer’s contract was scheduled to expire after this coming season. Per Spielman:
““I don’t think, from ownership through our entire organization, that we don’t believe in Coach Zimmer. He is the right head coach to lead us going forward.”
Social media speculated that the Vikings’ disappointing 2018, coupled with the team’s general under-performance in high-stakes games under Zimmer, could set the coach on a slightly warmer seat in 2019. While no reports matched the feelings of those fans, confidence in Zimmer does appear to be a bit lower than it has been in the recent past. This extension temporarily quells those rumors. However, this revelation certainly does not alter Zimmer’s path to permanent job security. As stated in a piece from last month, Zimmer’s tenure with the Vikings is going to depend heavily on making a legitimate Super Bowl run in the next two seasons. Only then will whispers truly cease.
As it stands, Zimmer gets to continue his legacy as one of the most successful coaches in franchise history. He deserves most of the credit for developing a top defense. Before he took over in 2014, the Vikings languished in defensive mediocrity. Yet, they have ranked top-10 in scoring defense in four of Zimmer’s five seasons. Zimmer’s 47 wins rank fourth in Vikings history, and he figures to pass Jerry Burns this season to move into third place.
The fact of the matter is that contracts for coaches are worth about as much as the paper they are printed on. A head coach can get fired within a week of signing a new deal. However, Zimmer’s extension indicates, at least symbolically, the Vikings’ commitment to continuity. Zimmer has built a strong culture and developed a talented roster. In the team’s mind, he has earned the extra time to see his vision through.
–Sam Smith is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Vikings and Deputy Editor for Full Press NFL. Like and Follow @samc_smith.
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