Denver, Minnesota Could Swap HCs This Offseason

Dec 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer walks onto the field before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

In all likelihood, we will see a new coaching staff with the Minnesota Vikings organization in 2022. It’s already looking like the end is near for head coach, Mike Zimmer. This also means the coordinators likely are not far behind. One team has always seemed like a potential landing spot for Zimmer, and now, they have also parted ways with their head coach. The Denver Broncos have long been connected with the Minnesota Vikings ever since bringing in George Paton as their new GM last offseason. It’s also seemed like a potential trade destination for Kirk Cousins, should Minnesota opt to go that route.

As of Sunday morning, Denver has officially fired head coach Vic Fangio after Saturday afternoon’s 28-24 loss vs. Kansas City. Fangio has been a successful coach in the NFL, landing his first gig as the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator in 1995. He took a short hiatus from the NFL following the 2005 season, but Fangio has held a job every year since 2011. Since that 2011 season with the San Francisco 49ers, Fangio’s defenses have ranked among the top-10 in terms of points allowed six separate times.

However, these past three years in Denver have been the first time he’s ever held a head coaching position. It’s been a struggle to say the least. The Broncos have gone 19-30 over his three-year tenure, largely due to being a mess on the offensive side of the ball. Outside of the 2020 season when injuries played a major factor, Denver’s defense has been good to elite, which leads most people to expect that Fangio will land a defensive coordinator gig somewhere else.

Why not Minnesota? Like the Broncos, the Vikings are a very attractive spot for potential head coaching candidates this offseason. They should be in the market to land a top-tier candidate, but one that largely controls the offensive side of the ball. This leaves an opportunity for a defensive coordinator to come in and still run a defense however they would like; an intriguing option for a former head coach like Fangio.

Denver finds themselves in a similar position, except their defense rather than their offense is near the very top of the league in terms of talent. They just need someone to come in and run the ship. Again, it’s a great spot for a former head coach to land. Mike Zimmer in all likelihood will be out of Minnesota by either Monday or Tuesday at the latest. If that is the case, there’s a huge possibility he takes his defensive scheme to Denver. He would thrive in that organization with a talented secondary anchored by Patrick Surtain II, while Fangio would have a chance to rebuild a once-great defense in Minnesota.