Appearing on Barstool Sports' The Pro Football Football Show, Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders weighed on Mike Zimmer's firing, calling the end of his tenure "a downward spiral".
Sanders said he spoke with Zimmer last week after he was fired by the Minnesota Vikings on Monday. During their conversation, Zimmer confirmed the lack of communication between himself and general manager Rick Spielman.
"[Zimmer] and the GM hadn't spoken in months," Sanders said. "It was just a downward spiral."
If Zimmer and Spielman had not talked "in months", a lot of Zimmer's moves down the stretch made sense including refusing to play rookies in the final weeks of the season.
For what it's worth, Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf mentioned the word "collaboration" multiple times during Monday's press conference and has deemed it a point of emphasis moving forward.
While Sanders didn't elaborate on Zimmer and Spielman's relationship, he did mention quarterback play as a common denominator for head coaches that were fired.
“When you look back on this…just look at the commonality that the guys that got fired," Sanders said. "Look at all the guys that got fired and then look to the quarterback play and there’s a common thread to each and every darn one of them.”
Zimmer didn't have it as bad as some of those coaches but Cousins' ability to lead the team and his decision not to get vaccinated drew criticism.
The drama peaked when Cousins tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 31, knocking him out of a must-win game against the Green Bay Packers. Although the Vikings were eliminated, Cousins started the season finale against the Chicago Bears. He finished the season with 4,221 yards and 33 touchdowns.
Sanders' comments echoed what many believe is the Vikings' key issue. Zimmer didn't seem to get along with Spielman or Cousins and that led to his dismissal. With a new general manager and head coach on the way, it's possible that Cousins could be the final piece to be on his way out.