Vikings Blast from the Past Accepts Promotion with Commanders

Former Vikings QB Benched in Washington
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The last time the Minnesota Vikings used 1st-Round draft capital on a defensive lineman was 11 years ago. It was a man named Sharrif Floyd, and he was out of the NFL by 2017.

Vikings Blast from the Past Accepts Promotion with Commanders

Now, Floyd is accepting promotions around the NFL but in a coaching capacity. The former Viking will coach defensive linemen for the Washington Commanders in 2024.

Blast from the Past
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NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Tuesday, “The Commanders are hiring Cowboys assistant Sharrif Floyd as their assistant DL coach, as the former standout Vikings DT continues to work his way up. Floyd was with Dan Quinn in Dallas.”

Interestingly, Floyd departed Dallas the same day ex-Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer formally took the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator job. Zimmer coached Floyd in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and was briefly on deck to become Floyd’s boss in 2024, but the Washington promotion ended that possibility.

Former Vikings 1st
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Joe Whitt Jr. will serve as the Commanders’ defensive coordinator next season, also a pluck from the Cowboys’ 2023 staff. Whitt Jr. was the Cowboys’ secondary coach last year, and with Dan Quinn taking the big job in Washington, he’s apparently bringing much of his Dallas staff. Three-time Pro Bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion Ken Norton Jr. will coach the Commanders’ linebackers in 2024.

The Vikings selected Floyd with the 23rd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. He was supposed to be the next big thing, but an ill-fated surgery ensured otherwise. Floyd played 44 career games (all with the Vikings), logged 95 total tackles, 22 QB hits, 9.5 sacks — and then that was it. His final career NFL snap occurred in 2016.

Betting Odds for Kirk
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Floyd made major headlines in 2018 when he sued Dr. James Andrews and alleged, “those administering that pain blocker affected the procedure, paralyzing a nerve and the surrounding muscle and creating a situation from which he could not recover sufficiently to play football.”

The 31-year-old also played defensive tackle for Dan Quinn at the University of Florida. And those “ties” are of the utmost importance in sports, especially in coaching ranks.

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Floyd represents the last time the Vikings invested 1st- or 2nd-Round draft capital on the defensive line’s interior. Minnesota notoriously doesn’t spend draft picks on Floyd’s spot and instead inserts players like Shamar Stephen, Armon Watts, and Jonathan Bullard. Floyd was the last time Minnesota swung for the fences via finding a potentially game-altering interior DL. Perhaps those days will return soon, maybe even in 2024.

The Commanders’ defense ranked 31st leaguewide in 2023 per DVOA, so Quinn, Floyd, and the rest of the gang have a daunting task ahead.

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).

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