The Vikings Search for a DC Takes Another Turn

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Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the never-ending saga that is the Minnesota Vikings search for a defensive coordinator took another major turn on Sunday, and not one that many folks expected. On Saturday, the Denver Broncos released their defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero from his contract, allowing him to take interviews elsewhere.

The Vikings are well-known as a team that wanted an interview with Evero, so the assumption was that this would allow the Vikings to do just that.

Unfortunately, that did not happen.

Instead, Evero very quickly had an interview set up with the Carolina Panthers, and things moved so fast that he had accepted the job with Carolina and their new head coach Frank Reich by Sunday afternoon, as first reported by Tom Pelissero.

This leaves the Vikings with three options for their defensive coordinator in 2023: Brian Flores, Mike Pettine, or an outside candidate that hasn’t been connected to the Vikings yet. It must be noted that Flores is also very much in the hunt for both the defensive coordinator position in Denver as well as the head coaching gig with the Arizona Cardinals.

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Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores watches from the sideline during the second quarter of the game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

On paper, both of those options are probably much more appealing than trying to rebuild the Vikings defense, so for Minnesota to land Flores, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell are going to have to give him a terrific sales pitch on how they plan on putting their roster together over the offseason.

On the other hand, Flores may find more control with the Vikings than he would with the Broncos and newly acquired head coach Sean Payton. He may also want to avoid the Cardinals, depending on how he feels about QB Kyler Murray and his contract extension that he was given last offseason.

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Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell looks on before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, Ian Rapoport also reported on Sunday that Flores is a “top candidate” for the Vikings defensive coordinator job. That being said, the Broncos release of Evero also made it seem like he was a frontrunner for the job in Minnesota, and we know how that worked out.

In the end, the Vikings are no closer to finding their next defensive coordinator than they were 24 hours ago. Hopefully that changes soon.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.