The Vikings are eyeing a long-term future with Mike Zimmer. They are finalizing a multiyear extension with their seventh-year head coach, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).
Although Zimmer waited a long time to become a head coach, he has been Minnesota’s most successful leader since Dennis Green. The Vikings have consistently deployed a high-end defense under the longtime NFL defensive coach, and they have continued to make playoff appearances despite Zimmer’s team having yet to use the same starting quarterback in three straight seasons.
Zimmer has led the Vikings to playoff berths with three different signal-callers — Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum and Kirk Cousins — and has overseen five straight top-10 scoring defenses. Minnesota has never ranked below 11th in points allowed under Zimmer.
While the Vikings spent the past several seasons building around a similar nucleus, Zimmer will be tasked with leading a reshaped contender this year. Minnesota cut Xavier Rhodes and Linval Joseph, let Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander walk in free agency and traded Stefon Diggs. They also appear to be set to move on from 10-year defensive end Everson Griffen, who remains a free agent. The Vikings are counting on their longtime leader to keep the team’s playoff window open with some younger pieces.
Only six teams — the Patriots, Saints, Steelers, Ravens, Seahawks and Chiefs — have longer-tenured HCs than the Vikings. Zimmer is 57-38-1 in his six-season run. He is the third-winningest coach in the franchise’s 59-season history.
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