It sure feels like all four NFC North teams are meeting at the center of a crossroad.
The Bears are operating under new leadership. Their rivals to the north are uncertain what will happen with their quarterback, his top receiver, and all that comes with being $50 million over the cap. The Lions are rebuilding (again), but have some momentum with how they closed out the 2021 season. But what if the Vikings were the team to make the biggest splash?
It is certainly plausible, as NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reports Minnesota is set to fly Jim Harbaugh in to interview for the team’s vacant head coaching position.
As Pelissero puts it, this is “another big step” for Harbaugh to take if he truly has an interest in returning to the NFL. It’s not as if there has ever been a shortage of Harbaugh rumors in relation to him leaving college for another shot at the pros. But it hasn’t been serious enough to the point where there is a public acknowledgement of an in-person interview. Business seems like it is about to pick up.
Especially with this nugget:
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 1, 2022
That two minority candidates (Graham, Morris) are still up for an interview and a third (Ryans) is opting out of a second interview feels like a tell. The Vikings have been interviewing all sorts of head coach candidates. But to this point, Minnesota has yet to make a hire. Are they trying to knock out Rooney Rule requirements before a Harbaugh interview? It seems possible.
New GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could go in a number of directions. However, none would be as splashy as netting Harbaugh at the end of this search. Especially if it means holding off a possible late charge by the Dolphins. Hiring a high-profile coach with a lengthy NFL résumé would make for a nice match for a first-time general manager with a background more rooted in analytics than traditional player evaluation. And it would spice things up in a division that saw just one team finish 2021 with a winning record.
Let’s get weird, Vikings.