Minnesota Vikings Fire Mike Zimmer, GM Rick Spielman
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings have fired coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman, sources tell ESPN, signaling a regime overhaul after eight seasons.
The moves are expected to be announced Monday, one day after Minnesota concluded an 8-9 season with a 31-17 victory over the Chicago Bears. The Vikings missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season, the first time that occurred during Zimmer's tenure.
Zimmer was hired by Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf in 2014 after he spent six seasons as the defensive coordinator in Cincinnati from 2008-13. He held the same position with Atlanta in 2007 and Dallas from 2000-06. Zimmer started his NFL coaching career with the Cowboys in 1994 and coaching colleges from 1979-1993.
This is the first time in Zimmer\'s career he has been fired.
Spielman has been with the Vikings since 2006 and the team's general manager since 2012. The Vikings made the playoffs six times during Spielman's time as an executive, reaching the NFC Championship Game twice -- in the 2009 and 2017 seasons.
In eight seasons with the Vikings, Zimmer compiled a 72-56-1 record, which averages out to 9.1 wins per season, and made three trips to the postseason (2015, 2017, 2019) with two playoff wins. Minnesota reached the NFC Championship game in 2017 with the league's top-ranked defense.
Spielman was directing the Vikings' draft preparations in 2007 when the team selected running back Adrian Peterson No. 7 overall. Peterson went on to be named the Offensive Rookie of the Year and later Most Valuable Player in 2012. Spielman also drafted wide receiver Justin Jefferson 22nd overall in the 2020 draft. Jefferson this season set an NFL record for most receiving yards over a player's first two NFL seasons.
Spielman, however, will forever be tied to Minnesota's marquee signing of quarterback Kirk Cousins, who came to the Vikings as a free agent in 2018 after signing a record three-year, fully guaranteed contract worth $84 million. The Vikings made the playoffs just once since Cousins joined the team.
Overall, the Vikings were 132-123-2 during the regular season and 3-6 in the postseason during Spielman's time with the team.