While the Vikings and 11 other teams have reached the playoffs, the world doesn't stop spinning for teams that missed the postseason and with "Black Monday" upon us, the rumors of coaches being fired are happening at a rapid pace.
Heading into the offseason, Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski is expected to be a hot commodity for head coaching openings but as the coaching carousel begins to fire up, another Vikings name is popping up as a potential candidate: Mike Zimmer.
In an article by NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, he mentions that the Dallas Cowboys are expected to fire Jason Garrett after the team missed the playoffs on Sunday afternoon and that Zimmer could be a name that pops up in their search.
"Among the coaches [the Cowboys will] likely target are [Baylor's Matt] Rhule, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley, former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, potentially [former Carolina head coach Ron] Rivera and others. Put nothing past Jerry Jones -- even a trade if someone he likes (such as Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer) becomes available.”
On the surface, this suggestion seems extremely far fetched. Trading for a head coach is rare, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have set the precedent pulling the trigger for Jon Gruden from the Oakland Raiders in 2002 and sending a sixth-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for Bruce Arians last offseason.
But there's also the matter that the Vikings probably have no intention of getting rid of Zimmer. The 63-year-old has brought Minnesota to the playoffs three times in six seasons and has compiled a respectable record of 57-37-1 since being hired in 2014.
Despite the regular-season success, Zimmer is still looking for a prolonged run in the playoffs. Zimmer is 1-2 in the playoffs, and while one of the losses was in tough luck fashion on the foot of Blair Walsh, his win came on the other side of the pendulum in the Minneapolis Miracle game (a game in which the Vikings blew a 21-0 lead).
With a familiarity with the Cowboys as their defensive coordinator for seven seasons (2000-06), Jerry Jones could try to bring Zimmer back if he falls through on his big-name hires. If the Vikings were to lose next weekend, that 1-3 playoff record could entice Minnesota to at least entertain the option in an effort to shake things up and possibly retain Stefanski or bring back old friend Pat Shurmur, who was reportedly fired Monday morning after two seasons as head coach of the Giants.
Either way, the possibilities are sure to be out there over the next several weeks and an idea like this could be the tip of the iceberg if the Vikings have a quick exit from the playoffs.