The Top 5 Landing Spots for Mike Zimmer

Mike Zimmer
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Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer will have been absent from the NFL for two years when the 2023 caps.

The Top 5 Landing Spots for Mike Zimmer

The 67-year-old hinted this week to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that he wants to coach again in 2024. “The biggest thing, Tom, is I love to teach. I love to coach. When I was a head coach, I was always trying to teach and get the players better. Also wanted to teach them about the game of football, not just about their position,” Zimmer told Pelissero on Tuesday in a rare interview.

Zimmer continued, “So many guys come in, and they just want to know about a defense on a particular play but not as much as how it helps other players around them be better. So, I think it’s just something that’s in your blood. My dad was a high school coach for a long, long time. I love being around the players. I love the challenge of trying to make an organization better and trying to get them where we need to go.”

That sounds like a man on the verge of a comeback. And if Zimmer returns this offseason, these are possible landing spots, ranked in ascending order of likelihood (No. 1 = most likely).

5. Dallas Cowboys (HC)

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones attends the Big 12 football between Texas Tech and Texas, Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. © Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Cowboys’ head coaching job seems safe now, but what happens to Mike McCarthy if Dallas loses in the NFC Divisional Round — again? Will they keep doing the same thing repeatedly?

If Dallas moves on from McCarthy, there’s also a chance that Jerry Jones promotes Dan Quinn to head coach, so monitor that.

Otherwise, Jones loves Zimmer, and it wouldn’t be weird at all for the Cowboys to scoop Zimmer and install him as head coach. Zimmer spent 13 seasons in Dallas a couple of decades ago.

4. Los Angeles Chargers (DC)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Because the Chargers just moved on from a defense-first coach in Brandon Staley — the experiment didn’t work — Los Angeles might hire an offensive-minded skipper this time while requiring a proven defensive coordinator.

Zimmer is precisely that — proven defensively.

Pair a Zimmer defense with Justin Herbert’s repertoire and prosper.

3. Washington Commanders (DC)

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

Take the logic from the Chargers opening above and duplicate it for Washington. Ron Rivera probably won’t survive Black Monday in the NFL, and if he’s canned, the Commanders should hire an offense-first thinker while using its high draft pick on a quarterback of the future.

Washington will still need a productive defense, and Zimmer could get the call for that task.

The Commanders traded away a lot of his high-profile defensive linemen this season, but such is life. Perhaps Zimmer could steer Washington in the right direction on defense.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (DC)

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni in the first half as the Philadelphia Eagles came to East Rutherford, NJ, and defeated their division rivals, the New York Giants, 48-22 on December 11, 2022. Philadelphia Eagles Came To East Rutherford, NJ, And Defeat Their Division Rivals, The New York Giants, On December 11, 2022. © Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

A couple of weeks ago, Eagles head coach Nick Siranni stripped defensive coordinator Sean Desai of playcalling duties, handing the gig to Matt Patricia. That’s not good for Desai. Philadelphia conducted the ordeal with spiffy rhetoric, but it seemed Desai was straight-up demoted — almost fired? — in the middle of the season.

Unless Patricia guides the Eagles’ defense to stardom in the next month or so, Philadelphia might need a defensive bossman. And inside its current Super Bowl window, Zimmer would make sense.

1. Green Bay Packers (DC)

Spots for Mike
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Sticking it to the Vikings, an organization that fired him two years ago, Zimmer to Green Bay unfortunately adds up. Talk with any Packers fan for longer than thirty seconds, and she will launch into a speech chiding defensive coordinator Joe Barry. Packers faithful are ready to be done with Barry, and in fact, it’s all they talk about in person and on social media.

Zimmer could slide into Wisconsin with NFC North familiarity and get a chance to battle the Vikings twice annually. What’s more, Packers fans are already chattering about Zimmer as Barry’s successor.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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