Vikings Finalizing Multi-Year Contract Extension With GM Rick Spielman
The Vikings are finalizing a multi-year contract extension with general manager Rick Spielman, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
This was an expected move after the Vikings signed head coach Mike Zimmer to an extension on July 22. Zimmer and Spielman's contracts have been timed together since Zimmer arrived in Minnesota, and it seems like the organization views the two leaders as a tandem. With Zimmer getting a three-year extension that ties him to the Vikings through the 2023 season, it seems likely that Spielman's new deal will be of equal length.
Spielman has been one of the better GMs in the league during his tenure in Minnesota, especially when it comes to navigating the draft. He's become known for trading back and accumulating a large stockpile of picks, as well as finding value late in the draft. Spielman just set an NFL record with 15 selections in the 2020 draft. Since officially becoming the team's GM in 2012, the majority of his draft classes have been successful.
Here are some of the players Spielman has drafted since 2012: Harrison Smith (2012), Xavier Rhodes (2013), Anthony Barr (2014), Teddy Bridgewater (2014), Eric Kendricks (2015), Danielle Hunter (2015), Stefon Diggs (2015), Dalvin Cook (2017), and Brian O'Neill (2018). He has also brought in 27 draft picks over the past two classes, featuring promising young players like Garrett Bradbury, Irv Smith Jr., Justin Jefferson, and Jeff Gladney.
Another thing Spielman is known for is keeping that homegrown talent around as the team builds towards playoff runs. He has worked out extensions with many of the above players to keep them in Minnesota for their second contract. Spielman has also made some big moves in free agency, most notably signing Kirk Cousins prior to the 2018 season.
His track record isn't perfect. Outside of Cousins and Linval Joseph, he hasn't hit on many impact free agents. The Vikings' offensive line has consistently been a weakness that Spielman has struggled to fix. But for the most part, he's done well in building one of the more talented, well-rounded rosters in the NFL for much of the last decade.
Spielman started with the Vikings in 2006 as the team's Vice President of Player Personnel. Until 2011, he made decisions as part of the "triangle of authority" that also included the head coach (first Brad Childress, then Leslie Frazier) and VP of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski.
Since being promoted to GM in 2012, Spielman has had the final say on all personnel decisions. He currently works closely with Brzezinski and Assistant GM George Paton. For the draft, he collaborates with Director of College Scouting Jamaal Stephenson. Spielman also has a close relationship with Zimmer.
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