Mike Zimmer’s eight-year run with the Minnesota Vikings didn’t go as planned. His squad went 72-56-1 in the regular season but never won a Super Bowl, and their two playoff wins (out of five appearances) both came against the New Orleans Saints. Now he’s a 65-year-old free agent with an uncertain NFL future.
And Saints head coach Sean Payton would be wise to try and recruit him for New Orleans. Zimmer is an outstanding defensive coach, having built some of the most effective units in recent memory. His defenses never ranked lower than 14th in yards or 11th in points allowed from 2014 to 2019, only trailing off the last two years after injuries, age, and poor drafting eroded the depth chart. They had more finishes inside the top six in each category than outside of it during that span.
Landing with the Saints could be just what Zimmer needs to find a second wind for his coaching career, no matter what happens with Dennis Allen — the Saints’ defensive coordinator is scheduled to interview with the Chicago Bears soon for their vacant head coaching job. Adding his experienced eye to the coaching staff would be big.
It almost makes too much sense. Zimmer is one of the Payton’s oldest friends around the NFL, having worked together on Bill Parcells’ legendary Dallas Cowboys staff, with Payton’s offense running against Zimmer’s defense every day in practice. Bringing Zimmer in as a…