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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings reward Mike Zimmer with contract extension

By Judd Zulgad

That didn’t take long.

Two years into his tenure as Vikings coach, Mike Zimmer has been rewarded with a contract extension. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman announced that Zimmer had received the extension on Thursday as the team reported for training camp in Mankato.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed. Spielman would not state the length of the contract, citing Vikings policy, but he did confirm offhandedly that the new deal made Zimmer a “rich man.”

Zimmer led the Vikings to an 11-5 record and the team’s first NFC North title since 2009 last season. Zimmer is 18-14 in his two seasons as a head coach, the second-most wins by a Viking head coach his first two season trailing only Dennis Green who had 20 wins.

“Mike has instilled a very positive atmosphere over the past three years and our players have thrived under his tutelage and leadership,” Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement. “His focus on helping our players develop and maximize potential, individually and collectively, is critical for our current and future success. We believe the continuity established with Mike leading our football team is a very positive step for our organization.”

Zimmer, in his trademark understated way, expressed his appreciation and quickly turned the conversation toward getting back to work.

“I’m extremely grateful to the Wilfs and to Rick, they kind of came to us and wanted to get it done,” Zimmer said. “They really didn’t have to; there was nothing that was pushing this deal. But I feel very, very fortunate to be the coach of the Vikings. It’s a great organization, a lot of great people. … It’s good to get done now and to get a chance to move forward.”

Zimmer joked that with the past few days of promotional appearances at the new U.S. Bank Stadium and at other various events that he’s “just ready to get out of that suit and get ready to get to work.”

Spielman, who hugged Zimmer as he left the small lectern and handed off the stage to his newly extended head coach, spoke of the strong professional relationship the two have developed since Spielman interviewed and then hired Zimmer about two and a half years ago.

“Over the past two years, Coach Zimmer’s leadership, his passion, his ability to prepare this football team has shown the results on the field,” Spielman said. “I can tell you in my 26 years in the NFL I have not had the experience and the cohesiveness as I do with Coach Zimmer.”

“Our owners deserve a championship, our fans deserve a championship, and there’s no doubt in our organization’s mind that Coach Zimmer’s the right guy for this football team heading into the future,” Spielman said.

The post Vikings reward Mike Zimmer with contract extension appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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