Today on the Bleeding Purple Podcast — co-hosted by Adam Patrick (TheVikingAge.com) and our own Eric Strack — Adam said, he’s hearing rumors that the Minnesota Vikings have already extended the contracts of Rick Spielman (General Manager), and Mike Zimmer (Head Coach).
If true, it’s hard to imagine this will be kept in-house much longer, with vultures like us constantly circling for news. The rumors are pretty vague, without any chatter about money or length. (Zimmer/Spielman talk starts around the 18:45 mark — immediately after BetOnline.ag ad-read)
”I heard [a rumor] from a little birdie yesterday, that Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman have already had their contracts extended. It just hasn’t been announced yet, for whatever reason… probably because there is [more important] stuff going on in Minneapolis right now.Adam Patrick (TheVikingsAge.com) on the Bleeding Purple Podcast
I hope the rumors are true. With both Spielman and Zimmer entering the final year of their contracts, the Wilfs need to make a decision about the direction of their franchise.
Eric might not believe in cementing another term for the Spielman/Zimmer Era without more results, but it’s stupid to keep both guys under lame duck contracts. If they haven’t already, the Wilfs should extend them right now.
THERE IS A PLAN IN PLACE
Zimmer and Spielman appear to have a solid plan, and their goal is obviously the franchise’s first Super Bowl. Uprooting the entire team could lead to a major setback and possible years of ineptitude. Plus, the Vikings are in win-now mode.
From the extension of Kirk Cousins, to the trading of Stefon Diggs, and now the navigation of a possible Dalvin Cook holdout…. this team was/is being built in this regime’s image. You can’t just blow that up, now.
Eric points to the Minnesota Vikings’ lack of consistency, in terms of wins and consecutive playoff appearances. I’m not putting most of that on the shoulders of Mike Zimmer or Rick Spielman.
Adam points out all the bad luck the Vikings have faced over the last handful of years, and he’s right. Coaches have died, Adrian Peterson beat his kids, Teddy Bridgewater’s knee gave out, the Sam Bradford saga, and Dalvin Cook injuries, etc etc etc…
With regard to drafting quality players, they appear to know what they are doing. All you have to do is look at how Zimmer’s defenses have performed over the last five seasons.
Defensive Efficiency Over the Last Five Years— Nick Olson (@NickOlsonNFL) June 11, 2020
Mike Zimmer is good: pic.twitter.com/xELzIPf2wa
THE TEAM IS BEHIND THEM
With everything going on in the world, it’s vital that Spielman and Zimmer have the team backing them. The locker room needs to be strong…. and it seems to be, right now.
There have been instances of players acting out in the past, but most are remedied before they become major issues. Look at Everson Griffen’s mental health story. The team took a lot of precautions, to ensure he was able to excel both on and off the field.
They care about their players, which has been evident, in light of the George Floyd murder. The Vikings have backed the players who want to speak out. They’ve also taken a leadership role across the NFL, recently.
Mike Zimmer was not part of today’s Zoom with members of the social justice committee, but he addressed the team recently in light of George Floyd’s death.
Here’s how his message was received by players and coaches. pic.twitter.com/MGWU4qbstQ— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) June 10, 2020
Both Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman deserve fair criticism their fair share of criticism. For Spielman, it can be traced back to busts in the draft, such as selecting Christian Ponder in the first round of the 2011 draft. To his lack of forcefully pursuing high-end offensive lineman like Trent Williams.
Zimmer, on the other hand, has had issues with holding onto his coordinators and maintaining an iron grip on the defensive play calling. Yet that appears to be changing. With the addition of Dom Capers to the defensive staff and Gary Kubiak on offense, Zimmer has peers he trusts and respects giving advice and providing continuity.
So while the criticism is fair, both appear to be rectifying their flaws. That is important, when looking for success in an organization. Growth of your employees and management.
RE-SIGN THEM, NOW.
As mentioned, the team has a window of opportunity to compete for a Super Bowl. And we do not know how long that window will be open.
Instead of flipping the plan on its head, why not extend them for a few years while potentially finding young staffers in the league (or already on the team) to groom and take over when this next extension is up?
Spielman has even been candid about his expectations for the team.
“The expectations are always going to be very high,” Spielman told the Star Tribune. “Even though we have some young guys coming in we still have a core part of our defense together with Anthony Harris and Harrison Smith, we have [Eric] Kendricks and [Anthony] Barr at linebacker, Danielle Hunter, we were able to sign Michael Pierce in free agency when we lost Linval Joseph. We have a core group of young guys that still are the bread and butter of our defense or the heart of our defense.”Rick Spielman to Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune
Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan