Featured Posts | Vikings

Zulgad’s Roundup: Former Eagles coach Doug Pederson might be willing to wait on Vikings

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills
Oct 27, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman’s firings have created plenty of speculation and buzz about what the Vikings will do. Let’s get right to it.

  • Former Eagles coach Doug Pederson already has interviewed for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ coaching job and will end up interviewing with the Vikings and Broncos as well, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. So how will that work with the Vikings not having a GM yet? We hear that Pederson is intrigued enough by the Vikings job that he would be willing to wait until the general manager is in place to see if he might be a fit in Minnesota. Pederson won the Super Bowl as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2017 season at U.S. Bank Stadium but was fired following the 2020 season.
  • Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf did not say who will be helping him and his brother, Zygi, conduct the internal search for a new general manager, but it’s expected that Chief Operating Officer Andrew Miller and Rob Brzezinski, Vikings’ executive vice president of football operations, will be involved in helping make the decision. It wouldn’t be surprising if other trusted members of the football operations staff also are included on the committee. With the Vikings planning to pick their general manager first, it’s safe to assume the GM will then be in charge of selecting his coach.
  • Potential candidates for the Vikings’ GM job likely will include Ed Dodds, Colts’ assistant general manager; Will McClay, Cowboys’ vice president of player personnel; Brandon Brown, Eagles’ director of player personnel; and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Browns’ vice president of football operations. McClay and Brown’s teams are both in the playoffs.
  • It will be interesting to see if the Vikings conducts internal interviews with Jamaal Stephenson and/or Ryan Monnens, who were promoted to co-director of player personnel last offseason after George Paton left to become GM in Denver.
  • Brown and Adofo-Mensah are interesting candidates. Brown is completing his fifth season with the Eagles. He got his start working in the scouting department for the Colts in 2015 before becoming the assistant director of pro scouting for Philadelphia in 2017. Brown has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a dual concentration in entrepreneurship and communications media management from Fordham. After graduating in 2010, Brown earned a Juris Doctor degree from Barry University Law School in Orlando, Fla. It wouldn’t be surprising if Brown got the job, if he hired Pederson.
  • Adofo-Mensah graduated from Princeton in 2003 and earned a master’s in economics from Stanford in 2013. He played basketball at Princeton but his stock is rising as a football executive. The Bears reportedly have requested an interview with him and he interviewed with the Panthers last year. Adofo-Mensah’s background is an interesting one. He was hired last May by Cleveland after working as the 49ers’ director of football research and development for two seasons. Before joining the 49ers, Adofo-Mensah traded Energy derivatives as an executive director in the Credit Suisse Commodities Proprietary Group before finishing his career as an Associate Portfolio Manager at Taylor Woods Capital Group. He then “led the 49ers’ efforts to develop and implement advanced quantitative methods for game strategy and personnel evaluation.’’
  • What makes Adofo-Mensah’s resume so interesting is it reads like that of a young MLB executive. He’s in his early 30s and here’s a look at how he uses analytics to dissect the quarterback position.
  • While the NFL has rules about the interview process for assistant coaches whose teams are in the postseason, general manager candidates can speak to other clubs now with no restrictions and a team can announce a GM hire during the playoffs. That person must leave their previous job immediately.
  • The biggest mystery in the Vikings’ moves on Monday morning was the decision to fire Spielman. Scoopmaster Darren “Doogie” Wolfson said Spielman showed up for work in the 7 o’clock hour expecting to be told that Zimmer would be dismissed. Instead, Spielman and Zimmer, who showed up in the 8 o’clock hour, were both shown the door. We had been hearing that last week the Wilfs talked to Spielman about his new job title — he wasn’t going to remain in the GM’s chair — and that he would have a role in picking his replacement. So what happened? Among the many theories thrown out was the Wilfs were told that top GM candidates would not come to Minnesota with Spielman looking over their shoulder.
  • If Zimmer wants to continue coaching next season, he could end up as defensive coordinator in Dallas. That’s assuming Dan Quinn gets a head coaching job. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Zimmer have a strong enough relationship that there were rumors Zimmer might be traded to Dallas and become head coach after the 2019 season. Quinn is a candidate for the Broncos’ job.
  • Spielman, meanwhile, could end up working with Paton, his longtime assistant who is now GM in Denver, or for his brother, Chris, who is a special assistant to the owner and CEO of the Detroit Lions. Spielman also could elect to sit out, considering the Vikings owe him for two more years.
  • Zimmer’s contract with the Vikings also runs through 2023. Doogie reports that the final season is fully guaranteed and likely worth between $6 and $8 million.
  • Veteran defenseman Jon Merrill, who has been solid for the Wild in his first season with the team, signed a three-year, $3.6 million extension on Tuesday.