On Monday morning, the Minnesota Vikings will be reorganizing their team and firing Mike Zimmer as well as Rick Spielman.
Black Monday is really a difficult day for the NFL.
The annual death march of head coaches who spent the entire season in the hot seat is over. This means that there will be no more employment for them and their families will have to go through a lot of turmoil. Sports might be the only industry in which someone losing their job isn’t met with condolences and Twitter-sized letters of recommendations from peers, rather it’s a celebration by fans of whichever team just removed someone from their post.
Suspension is the worst drug in the world.
That’s what happened on Monday in Minnesota as the Vikings fired both head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman.
While the question of whether Spielman or Zimmer were right to be fired is a matter of debate, the biggest concern for Vikings fans worldwide is what will happen next.
It would be smart for Minnesota to rebuild itself completely from the ashes of its Zimmer years rather than repeating the vicious cycle that has been going on since the late-90s. It seems like the Vikings are trying to make things worse by cutting corners and applying a band-aid to every opportunity to rebuild.
The Vikings should now take their medicine and take a deep breathe.
Consider the NFC landscape and the timeline that the Vikings could set themselves by accepting that they must rebuild. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and the old guard of quarterbacks aren’t getting any younger and there hasn’t been a youth movement in the NFC the way we’ve seen in the AFC. Minnesota was barely competing with the roster it had, so there’s nothing wrong with throwing in the towel now and waiting out the clock.
Minnesota will have a strong offensive-minded coach and a general manger capable of creating the foundations for the future development of its young talent. Brady only has so many years left, who knows what the Rams look like after Stafford leaves, and Rodgers isn’t going to last forever. Aside from Kyler Murray and Dak Prescott there isn’t an established up-and-coming quarterback who carries the same invincibility that the current guard has. There are no Patrick Mahomes’ or Joe Burrow’s in the NFC, no Belichick-ian figures looming large, or top-heavy parity. This conference is yours to take, and there are no successors to Brady or Rodgers.
The Vikings, for perhaps the first time in the franchise’s long-suffering history, have a chance to rebuild the right way and take the throne when it’s vacated — or become powerful enough to overthrow old kings.