Mike Zimmer, Vikings Agree to 3-Year Contract Extension Through 2023

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured Columnist

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer directs his team during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

The Minnesota Vikings and head coach Mike Zimmer agreed to a three-year contract extension that will run through the 2023 season, the team announced Friday. 

Zimmer and the Vikings are coming off a 10-6 season that saw them earn an NFC wild-card berth and advance to the divisional round of the playoffs after upsetting the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card Round.

The 64-year-old Zimmer has led the Vikes to the playoffs three times in the past five seasons, including the 2017 campaign, which saw them go 13-3 and reach the NFC Championship Game, where they were beaten handily by the Philadelphia Eagles.

During his six-year stint in Minnesota, Zimmer owns a 57-38-1 regular-season record and a 2-3 playoff record. 

The Vikings have two NFC North titles under Zimmer and have never gone worse than 7-9 with him at the helm. They have also posted a record of 8-8 or better in each of the past five seasons.

In terms of pure talent, the Vikings have one of the best rosters in the NFL, and they could soon be Super Bowl contenders with a bit of tweaking.

The offense ranked eighth in scoring in 2019, and it is led by running back Dalvin Cook. Minnesota also has a dangerous passing attack with quarterback Kirk Cousins throwing to wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen and tight end Kyle Rudolph, but Cousins has yet to show he can get the job done on the big stage.

Minnesota's defense was even better in 2019, which comes as little surprise given Zimmer's background as a defensive guru. The Vikings gave up the fifth-least points in the NFL, led by Pro Bowl defensive end Danielle Hunter, All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks, Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith, plus linebacker Anthony Barr and safety Anthony Harris.

The Vikings have to improve their cornerback group on defense and Cousins needs to rise to the occasion on offense, but the team doesn't appear to be far away from the top of the league.

Zimmer has helped the Vikes remain in playoff contention for essentially every year of his tenure, so it is fitting that he will get the opportunity to see things through and potentially take the next step.