Kyle Sloter claims that there was animosity between Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman, stating that the former coach and general manager “hated” each other…Read More.

Rick Spielman, during his time with the Minnesota Vikings, hired three head coaches: Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier (initially as an interim after Childress was fired), and Mike Zimmer. Zimmer’s tenure was the longest and likely the most successful among them, but tensions between Zimmer and Spielman reportedly grew towards the end of their working relationship.


Former Vikings quarterback Kyle Sloter recently spoke on Matt Falk’s podcast, where he made a significant assertion regarding the dynamic between Zimmer and Spielman, indicating that their relationship became strained.

In case you can’t read the tweet for whatever reason, here’s the money quote:


Spielman really liked me. Zimmer and Spielman hated each other, so Zimmer hated me. They both knew they were getting fired, so when they needed a QB, it was a last F you to Zimmer.

The Vikings did rotate through a number of quarterbacks during the Spielman/Zimmer era, from Matt Cassel to Teddy Bridgewater to Sam Bradford to Case Keenum and, ultimately, to Kirk Cousins. Some of that, like Bridgewater’s injury, obviously can’t be blamed on Zimmer or Spielman, but the two men appear to have had a different idea about what the team should look for in a quarterback.


Depending on whose stories you believe, Zimmer was never a fan of the Cousins

signing and, at times, appeared to have a strained relationship with Cousins during his time in Minnesota. He was a big advocate for Bridgewater after his injury and would likely have wanted him back once he recovered, but Spielman and the Vikings had other ideas.

If Spielman and Zimmer hated each other as much as Sloter says they did, they did a fairly decent job of covering it up. Zimmer was successful enough as a coach to be the third-winningest coach in franchise history behind Bud Grant and Denny Green, and the team was never truly “bad” during their tenure. However, the bloom came off the rose at some point in that relationship, it would appear.

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