Could Mike Zimmer be on his way to the Denver Broncos?

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Sean Payton and Mike Zimmer
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Sean Payton and Mike Zimmer /

With the Denver Broncos reportedly hiring Sean Payton, could former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer return to the NFL as a member of his friend’s staff?

On Tuesday, former New Orleans Saints head coach, and longtime friend of former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, Sean Payton, was reportedly hired by the Denver Broncos to be the team’s new head coach, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Since the Saints still owned the rights to Payton, the Broncos reportedly made a trade for the coach that sent their 2023 first-round draft pick and a 2024 second-round draft selection to New Orleans in exchange for Payton and the Saints’ 2024 third-round pick according to Schefter.

The next step for Payton will be to construct his coaching staff in Denver. When it comes to finding a defensive coordinator, could the new Broncos head coach attempt to lure Zimmer back to the NFL sidelines?

Will former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer join the Denver Broncos with Sean Payton?

The former Vikings head coach is apparently already on his way to Colorado in the near future to join Deion Sanders’ coaching staff at the University of Colorado. But could Zimmer actually wind up working for a different team in the same state?

Zimmer and Payton have always had a friendship since they spent their time working together under Bill Parcells on the coaching staff of the Dallas Cowboys. Payton also employed Zimmer’s son, Adam, on his coaching staff from 2006 to 2009 when he was the head coach of the Saints.

In addition to the longtime friendship between the two coaches, Denver’s current general manager, George Paton, was part of the Minnesota front office that hired Zimmer as the team’s head coach in 2014. So there’s that connection as well.

It’s very possible that at the age of 66, Zimmer would probably like a coaching role that isn’t as strenuous as running an entire defense in the NFL. But if he gets a call from Payton in the near future, and a defensive coordinator position is offered, it might be hard for Zimmer to say no.

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