Zimmer Blames Mike Florio (PFT) for Getting Him Fired

Photo: Katie Stratman - USA TODAY Sports

Mike Zimmer was fired by the Minnesota Vikings on January 10, 2022 and he’s been rather quiet since. Even as players, media and executives across the organization blamed him for the team’s poor play over the past couple seasons, Mike has been mostly mute.

Zimmer Blames Florio for his Firing

Unless your name is Mike Florio and you are the creator/curator of a very popular sports website called ProFootballTalk.com, apparently. Because then — as Florio told Stephen Strom on a MUST-LISTEN episode of “The Sports Talkers Podcast” this week — Mike Zimmer blames you for starting the groundswell that led to his firing (transcribed below).

Strom: “What’s the most upset a player or coach has been at you?”

Florio: “The night that the Vikings extended Kirk Cousins again… …That night, in March of this year, right around the start of free agency; [Zimmer] started sending me some texts and they were not nice. And look, he thought that I was responsible for getting him fired, thinks that I started the groundswell. And at a certain point, you can only take so much before you push back. So, it was spirited, to say the least. We both said what he had to say.”

Mike Florio (PFT) – The Sports Talkers Podcast w/Stephen Strom)

This was a great interview, all around. Both Strom and Florio are Minnesota Vikings fans so they talk about the team’s past and where it’s heading, along with the rise of PFT, among other things. Florio opened up quite a bit in the 23-minute appearance. He even throws out some of the less-egregious cuss words available in the english dictionary.

Let’s break this down…

Of course, Florio lamented the unenviable position Mike Zimmer is in right now, with the passing of Adam Zimmer last week. You see it in the video above but I cut it out of the transcript. Losing a child is something we can all agree no parent should ever have to go through.

Florio was hard on Mike Zimmer late in his Vikings tenure and you’d be surprised at how much pull Mr. PFT has in the NFL community. It’s been documented. The timing of these text messages may be the most interesting part of this story, though. Zimmer didn’t start texting Florio right after he was fired. He waited months, until news broke that the Vikings were extending Kirk Cousins.

Did he realize, at that moment, the Vikings organization had decided to run it back without him. That they were keeping everyone outside of Rick Spielman and himself? Is that what sent him over the edge? Maybe it was just Zim’s dislike for Cousins that sparked his unrest and subsequent text messages that night…

We may never know, but this sure is an interesting new wrinkle to Zimmer’s demise, as Minnesota Vikings head coach, that we had yet to hear about.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan