After another losing season, a house-cleaning is in order in Minnesota. That cleaning-out process will reportedly not include GM Rick Spielman.
Ian Rapoport says Spielman has been informed by ownership that his job is safe for at least one more year.
There had been speculation that Spielman would be jettisoned along with Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and his staff, and a whole new regime installed in Minnesota. But Zygi Wilf is instead going to give Spielman one more year to put something together.
Spielman originally came to Minnesota as strictly a player-personnel man, but two years ago he was elevated to general manager, with full personnel oversight. For two years he’s had to work with a head coach he didn’t hire and a quarterback he may not have wanted to draft.
Now he gets a chance to truly put his stamp on the team. He gets to hire the head coach and he gets to pick the quarterback.
In his time in Minnesota, Spielman has developed a reputation as a great draft-day wheeler-and-dealer. His two drafts since becoming GM have wielded a sizable crop of legit talent, including Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith, Blair Walsh, Jarius Wright, Audie Cole, Cordarrelle Patterson, Xavier Rhodes and Sharrif Floyd.
His free agency record has been spottier. He overpaid wildly for John Carlson and arguably Greg Jennings. He failed to address certain key positions including middle linebacker this offseason. And he drew lots of negative press for alleged callous treatment of Antoine Winfield when Winfield was forced to be let go for cap reasons.
There’s been good and bad with Spielman. One thing you do have to say in his defense: the cap situation was not his doing, and neither was the coaching situation.
Now the Vikings get to clear the slate cap-wise, coach-wise and quarterback-wise. This team is Spielman’s. If it fails, it’s all on him. No more excuses.