Sources: Vikings fire coach Zimmer, GM Spielman

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The Vikings have fired both coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman, signaling a regime change in Minnesota, according to ESPN and several reports.

Zimmer, 65, was hired by Viking owners Zygi and Mark Wilf in 2014 after spending six seasons as defensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals (2008-13). I have had the same position with the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 and the Dallas Cowboys from 2000-06. Zimmer started his NFL coaching career with the Cowboys in 1994 and coaching schools from 1979-1993.

This is the first time in Zimmer’s career that he has been fired.

In eight seasons with the Vikings, Zimmer had a record of 72-56-1 and traveled 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.

Zimmer’s firing comes as Minnesota’s defense reached historic depths this season, contributing to the team’s record of 8-9. After setting a record for the most allowed points in the last two minutes of the half in the last 20 seasons with 107 in 2020, the Vikings reached a new low this year with 128 allowed points in the last two minutes of the half, according to ESPN statistics and information .

Spielman, 59, joined the Vikings in 2006 as vice president of player staff and was promoted to general manager in 2012.

The Vikings reached the playoffs six times during Spielman’s time as executive and reached the NFC Championship Game twice – in the 2009 and 2017 seasons.

Spielman led the Vikings’ draft preparations in 2007, when the team selected running back Adrian Peterson No. 7 overall. Peterson was named Offensive Rookie of the Year and later Most Valuable Player in 2012. Spielman also drafted wide receiver Justin Jefferson as No. 22 overall in the 2020 draft. Jefferson set an NFL record for most receiving yards this season over a player’s first two NFL seasons.

However, Spielman will forever be tied to Minnesota’s marquee signing of quarterback Kirk Cousins, who joined the Vikings as a free agent in 2018 after signing a record three-year, fully-guaranteed contract worth $ 84 million. The Vikings only reached the playoffs once since Cousins ​​joined the team.

Overall, the Vikings had 132-123-2 in the regular season and 3-6 in the postseason during Spielman’s time with the team.

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