If Mike Zimmer is concerned about coaching the Vikings with only one season left on his contract, he wasn’t about to acknowledge it on Thursday during his season-ending press conference.
“I got no problem with that,” Zimmer said when asked if he would be comfortable coaching in 2019 without an extension. “Free agent after that, right?”
The Star Tribune has reported that Zimmer and general manger Rick Spielman are under contract through 2019. Owner Zygi Wilf said late in the regular season that both Spielman and Zimmer were safe, but the pressure definitely will be turned up after the Vikings failed to make the playoffs a year after going to the NFC title game.
Signing quarterback Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million contract last offseason created even bigger expectations, but the Vikings failed to deliver on those and were eliminated on Sunday with a season-ending loss to Chicago.
Asked about the support he has received from ownership and players, Zimmer said: “Honestly, it doesn’t mean that much. I never had any doubt that anybody was not supporting me or anything like that. I think if you look over the five-year track record … unfortunately this is a, ‘What did you do for me now?”
Zimmer has a 47-32-1 regular-season record in five seasons as the Vikings’ coach and is 1-2 in two playoff appearances.
There was speculation that Zimmer might call it quits after the Vikings lost to the Bears on Sunday, but he dismissed that talk. “I can’t believe that somebody even threw that out there,” Zimmer said. “No, it was totally, 100 percent, what do they call it, hashtag, fake news? I’m not a quitter.”