The Minnesota Vikings locked up Mike Zimmer this offseason on a new contract that'll keep the head coach in town through 2023. Now the team has secured his counterpart for the long haul as well. The Vikings announced Monday they've signed longtime general manager Rick Spielman to a multiyear contract extension, retaining one of the longest-tenured personnel chiefs in the NFL.
The Vikings did not reveal the length of Spielman's new deal, but the Star Tribune reported Sunday night that the GM's extension would likely be synced with that of Zimmer, essentially keeping the two tied together. That would not be unusual, as the 57-year-old Spielman made Zimmer his first outside hire for head coach in 2014, and both reportedly had contracts that were set to expire following the upcoming 2020 season. In other words, they're as close to a package deal as you'll find in the NFL.
"Rick has been outstanding in his role as Vikings general manager," team owner Mark Wilf said in a team statement. "We are excited and honored to have him continue to lead our efforts to build a championship roster and first-class organization. With Rick's and Coach Zimmer's leadership in place, we are in a great position to continue to compete for a Super Bowl."
The 57-year-old Spielman has served as the Vikings' GM since 2012 but has been in the organization since 2006, when he came off a one-year stint as the Miami Dolphins GM to become Minnesota's vice president of player personnel. As ESPN's Jeremy Fowler notes, the Ohio native is the league's third-longest-tenured personnel chief outside of unofficial coach/owner GMs like Bill Belichick, behind only longtime New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers GMs Mickey Loomis and Kevin Colbert, respectively.
Since taking over as GM, Spielman has overseen four different playoff appearances by the Vikings, as well as two NFC North titles and a combined record of 72-54-2. Charged with replacing Leslie Frazier after the 2013 season, his Zimmer hire has helped pave the way to three double-digit-win seasons in the last five years, including a trip to the NFC Championship in 2017.
Spielman began his front office career as a scout with the Detroit Lions, spending seven years in Motown before a three-year run as the Chicago Bears' director of pro personnel. He spent five years in Miami, first as VP of player personnel, before landing in Minnesota.