Not a lame-duck season: Mike Zimmer’s contract status is clarified

Turns out Mike Zimmer won’t be coaching in the last season of his contract in 2019. General manager Rick Spielman told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday that the Vikings exercised the team option on Zimmer’s contract for 2020.

There were reports during this past season that Zimmer was only signed through 2019.

The Vikings went 8-7-1 in 2019 under Zimmer, missing the playoffs after entering the year with big expectations. Zimmer, 62, has coached the Vikings since 2014, guiding the team to two NFC North titles and two playoff appearances in that time.

The Vikings signed free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million contract last March after going 13-3 and advancing to the NFC title game in 2017. The Vikings, however, did not come close to meeting expectations this season and new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was fired with three games remaining in the regular season.

The Vikings overhauled their offensive staff after the season, naming Kevin Stefanski as coordinator and bringing in longtime NFL head coach and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak as assistant head coach and offensive adviser.