The Vikings cleaned house immediately following the 2021 NFL season, dismissing coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman after eight years of the duo leading the team. Now, looking to snap a two-year streak of missing the playoffs, the franchise is in search mode as it tries to build its next regime.
Who’s on the Vikings’ radar? And who are the front-runners for Minnesota’s top job? We’ve got you covered here, with a running tracker of all the latest news and notes regarding their search:
Jan. 13 — Patriots OC Josh McDaniels among top targets?
A perennial head coaching candidate, McDaniels is believed to be in strong consideration for a look in Minnesota, per SportsTalk 790’s Aaron Wilson, though the Patriots’ longtime coordinator (2012-2019, 2021-) isn’t set to conduct interviews until after the playoffs. The 45-year-old is a proven offensive mind, but he infamously backed out of the Colts’ job in 2018 and struggled as a short-lived Broncos coach in 2009-2010. He reads like a classic boom-or-bust hire.
Jan. 13 — Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett expected to be in the mix
Hackett, who’s overseen Green Bay’s offense since 2019 as Matt LaFleur’s handpicked coordinator, is likely to be on Minnesota’s “early lists” of candidates, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The 42-year-old has never been a head coach before, but he also has OC experience with the Bills (2013-2014) and Jaguars (2016-2018). The question is, how much of his success is due to LaFleur and, more so, Aaron Rodgers?
Jan. 11 — Doug Pederson set to interview for head coach
The former Eagles coach is on track to speak with Minnesota after completed or scheduled interviews with the Jaguars and Bears, per CBS Sports insider Jason La Canfora. Pederson spent 2021 out of football. Before that, he went 42-37-1 as Philadelphia’s coach from 2016-2020, guiding three playoff runs and the Eagles’ Super Bowl championship in 2017. As a proven offensive mind and beloved locker-room leader, he figures to be a serious candidate.
Jan. 10 — Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin rumored to be on radar
Kiffin, who just took over as the Rebels’ coach in 2020, has been the subject of “consistent chatter (inside) football circles” regarding the Vikings’ job, per PFF’s Brad Spielberger. While the 46-year-old hasn’t been in the NFL since 2007-2008, when he went 5-15 as the Raiders’ coach, he’s gone 76-41 in college. He’d be a bigger gamble for Minnesota, and it’s possible he’d be considered if the Vikings are zeroing in on Ole Miss QB prospect Matt Corral in the 2022 draft, Spielberger speculates.