Former Vikings Boss Lands New Job

Rick Spielman Connects
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

He’s back in the NFL.

Former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has landed a new gig, aiding the Washington Commanders with their upcoming search for a new head coach. Ron Rivera was relieved of duties on Monday.

Former Vikings Boss Lands New Job

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted on Black Monday, “ESPN Reporting with Adrian Wojnarowski. In a sweeping overhaul, Commanders owner Josh Harris has hired two prominent executives – former Warriors GM Bob Myers and former Vikings GM Rick Spielman – to assist his group in searches for a new head of football operations and coach.”

Vikings Boss Lands
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Rivera had coached the Commanders for four seasons from 2020 to 2023, but with new ownership taking over in Washington last year, now is the time for an overhaul. Spielman will be a part of the sweeping change.

The Vikings hired Spielman in 2006, and he remained in Minnesota until the end of the 2021 season. Along with head coach Mike Zimmer, Spielman was fired in January 2022, paving the way for general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell to take over and produce a 20-14 (.588) record to date.

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Recently, Spielman wrote NFL analysis for the think-tank website The 33rd Team or at least did so until Monday’s news of the Commanders job.

Washington hasn’t netted a winning record since Kirk Cousins was the quarterback — the last time was in 2016 — and will hope for a total facelift this offseason. On Rivera’s watch, the best win-loss mark was in 2022 when the Commanders finished 8-8-1.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The aforementioned Zimmer and Spielman paired in Minnesota for eight seasons, leading the Vikings to the NFL’s 10th-best record during the timeframe. The product was more successful in the first six seasons, though, and culminated with a 2017 NFC Championship appearance. From 2020 on, the Vikings succumbed to playoff-less mediocre seasons, causing the move by ownership to hire new leadership.

All told, Spielman oversaw three coaches in Minnesota: Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier, and Zimmer. Minnesota reached two conference title games (2009, 2017) during his tenure.

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In March of 2022, Spielman reportedly threw his hat in the ring to contend for the Pittsburgh Steelers open general manager job, but Pittsburgh ultimately hired Omar R. Khan.

Above all else, the Commanders will need a quarterback to stabilize the franchise, assuming Sam Howell is not the solution. Washington owns the second pick in this year’s draft, a wonderful spot to possibly select Drake Maye from North Carolina.

Spielman turned 61 last month.


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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