Should the Vikings trade Zimmer?
With the state of the Minnesota Vikings currently in complete disarray, people are finally coming around to what I’ve both said for years and ramped up after the draft this past April. This team needs a fresh start in the worst way(s), and the draft proved that more than anything else as Vikings head coach/glorified defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer (and general manager Rick Spielman) proved they’d learned absolutely nothing from their failures these past couple seasons and were essentially doubling down on the approach that didn’t work the first go around.
Unfortunately, though, the team essentially had to extend Zimmer and Spielman, know here on as Zimman (or Spielmer?), as they both had a year left on their deals and they happened to oversee the largest draft in NFL history.
With the team dealing with the logical conclusion of the team Spielmer team building philosophy, people are rightly looking at every single option right now to see how to fix what feels like a multi-year rebuild at best. One interesting theory popped up with that in mind, from our friends over at Pro Football Focus. Trade Zimmer.
Let’s hear what they said first:
“What if the Minnesota Vikings explored a trade for Mike Zimmer?
The two teams he has an extensive history with — the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys — both could be interested given their current coaching situations. With both clubs potentially looking to sign Zimmer after the 2020 season, perhaps one realizes it shouldn’t wait until then to make a move. In a way, Zimmer’s recent extension probably helps facilitate this.”
Personally, I’d love nothing more than for the team to make this move. They recently extended Zimmer and could avoid paying him after they inevitably fire him by doing this and apparently in the NFL you can trade head coaches.
There’s also the interesting fact that the VAST majority of head coaches that have won a Super Bowl have done so in the first 5 seasons with their teams. The handful of exceptions, like Andy Reid and the Chiefs, have all happened without exception when teams have had a Hall of Fame coach AND quarterback (like Patrick Mahomes will be).
It’s safe the say that the Vikings have neither.
I wouldn’t even care about compensation, either. This team needs a new set of eyes almost as bad as Zimmer. The question is, though, whether or not Zimmer is worth trading for, especially when teams like the Cowboys might wait until the end of the year to fire their head coach (who is in his first year and can probably try to blame the season on Dak Prescott’s ankle), which is around the time Zimmer could be looking for a new gig.
Beyond that, in the NFL trades typically happen when a contender is looking for either a final piece or a replacement piece because of injury. The motivation to add a coach and the gigantic shift it creates within an organization means that doing so mid-season makes no sense and is why it doesn’t happen.
Beyond that, as former Viking Bryant McKinnie said on my podcast ‘Three Deep w/ Wobby’ last night, there is a shift in the way football operates in nearly every sense and guys like Zimmer, who represent the old guard in every way, might be less attractive because of it.
Who wants to hire a guy who will be 70 in a few years and runs his team like he’s Parcells in his Heydey?
Either way, it’s fun to dream.
Then there’s the question as to what up-and-coming coach would want to come coach an organization with no cap space and over a third of their future cap space being devoted to an aging quarterback and injury prone superstar running back.
Although, I still know that with limited investment in the interior of the offensive line, this offense can be as elite as it has looked for significant enough stretches for me to say ‘know’ instead of ‘think’.
So maybe this isn’t the worst idea after all!