On Wednesday, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer revealed that the team talked about potentially signing the controversial linebacker.
During his tenure as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, Mike Zimmer hasn’t been afraid to take a chance on a few guys regardless of their past troubles.
Most recently, Zimmer and the Vikings brought in cornerback Holton Hill last year as an undrafted free agent despite a history of failing drug tests during his college career at Texas. Currently, Hill is serving an eight-game suspension for testing positive for PEDs and violating the league’s policy on substances of abuse.
On Wednesday, Zimmer spoke with the local Minnesota media and he was asked if the team looked into signing current Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict this offseason if Anthony Barr decided to leave.
"“Some of these free agent guys, we always talk about (them). I don’t know if there was much of a chance. But did we talk about him? Yeah.”"
Luckily, Barr chose to spurn the New York Jets and return to the Vikings this offseason. If not though, it would have certainly been interesting if Minnesota actually made a real effort to bring in a guy like Burfict.
Now in his eighth season in the NFL, the veteran linebacker began his career with the Cincinnati Bengals. Before he was hired by the Vikings, Zimmer was Burfict’s defensive coordinator for two years in Cincinnati, so the two are very familiar with each other.
During his time in the league, the linebacker has developed a reputation as a dirty player. Burfict has been suspended and fined numerous times over the years for infractions that have included twisting an opponent’s ankles, stomping on an opponent’s leg, and testing positive for banned substances.
Minnesota’s defense has become known as one of the most physical units in the league since Zimmer became the team’s head coach. But they have never been viewed as a dirty defense by anyone around the NFL.
Adding Burfict to their roster might have changed that narrative this season. Thankfully though, the Vikings never saw that become anything close to a reality since Barr decided to stay put.