Vikings Plan to Fire Mike Zimmer, Retain Rick Spielman

Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn - USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings will play their final game of the 2021-22 NFL season on Sunday vs the Chicago Bears. But with the playoffs out of reach, week 18’s real test was supposed to be the day after, or “Black Monday” for those who celebrate.

Dead Zim Walking

That day has become infamous for mass firings of coaches and executives around the league. This year, nobody’s seat is hotter than Mike Zimmer’s. So hot, apparently, that the Wilfs couldn’t keep their plans quiet any longer. According to a bombshell report from CBS Sports’ Jason La Confora, Mike Zimmer will be fired following Sunday’s finale. Rick Spielman will not.

The Vikings are expected to move on from head coach Mike Zimmer this week, league sources said, though longtime general manager Rick Spielman is likely to remain with the organization.

The Vikings brass has been averse to change over the years and has been very loyal to Spielman, but Zimmer’s abrasive style has been an issue within that team for years, and the need to go in a different direction has seemed clear to many decision makers there in recent weeks, sources said. Spielman is very close with ownership and is trusted immensely; the team has spent big and has yet to win big, but several league sources said they would be very surprised if Spielman was not a part of the organization in some capacity moving forward.

Jason La Confora – CBS Sports

With a win on Sunday, which wouldn’t be recommended by this website, Mike Zimmer (71-56-1) would finish with a .558 winning percentage as Minnesota Vikings head coach. A loss would bump it down to .550. Either way, he’ll leave town as the 3rd winningest coach in franchise history both by percentage and total victories. Only Bud Grant (158-96-5)(.621) and Dennis Green (97-62)(.610) were better.

Firing Zimmer won’t be cheap. His contract has two seasons remaining and is worth (per Darren Wolfson – KSTP, SKOR North) $16 million in total, $14-15 million of which is thought to be guaranteed.

What about Rick?

La Confora’s report doesn’t know the exact plans for current general manager, Rick Spielman. But it doesn’t look like he’ll have the same responsibilities going forward.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan