Minneapolis, MN, United States (4E Sports) – The Minnesota Vikings have hired former Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer as their new head coach, according to sources.
Sources said Zimmer and the Vikings had been in negotiations in an effort to complete a deal Wednesday. He remained overnight after his second interview while Vikings owner Zygi Wilf became more centrally involved in the session.
Zimmer, who spent the past five seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive coordinator, will replace Leslie Frazier.
Under Frazier, the Vikings surrendering the second-most yards and the most points in the NFL this season.
Zimmer will have his work cut out for him. The Vikings had the worst opponent Total QBR (67.4) of any team during the Frazier era (2011-13).
Zimmer will become the ninth coach in franchise history, 16 days after Frazier was fired on the heels of a 5-10-1 season.
He goes to Minnesota after directing a Bengals defense that finished in the top 10 in yards and points allowed in four of the past five seasons.
Zimmer had been targeting Bengals linebackers coach Paul Guenther as his defensive coordinator but the team acted quickly, promoting Guenther to defensive coordinator, according to sources.
Guenther met Wednesday with Bengals owner Mike Brown and agreed to a three-year deal to stay with Cincinnati, according to a source.