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The firings began nearly immediately after the NFL's inaugural 17-game season ended, from the NFC North to the AFC East.
Following an 8-9 season, the Vikings dismissed coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman on Monday. After a 6-11 season, division rival Chicago parted ways with coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace.
Miami fired coach Brian Flores, who led the Dolphins to a 9-8 record, including a sweeping of archrival New England.
Indeed, each has a total of 130-112-1 career coaching records.
Even though the Dolphins appeared to be overachievers with a small roster in South Florida, both the Vikings and the Bears were big disappointments this season.
The New York Giants (4-13) were in the same boat, and general manager Dave Gettleman resigned on Monday, despite the fact that he would have been dismissed anyhow.
The Packers, who are based in Wisconsin, are a huge issue for Minnesota and Chicago. While Green Bay is a consistent championship contender in the NFL, the Vikings and Bears have been more teasing than victorious.
After releasing Zimmer and Spielman, Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf issued a statement saying, "We are determined to achieve sustained success and provide Vikings fans the Super Bowl championships they expect and deserve."
Zimmer was 7-8-1 versus the Packers in his career, which isn't awful considering Green Bay's recent struggles. In that division, it was simply not good enough. Under Nagy, the Bears went 0-7 against the Packers in the NFL's longest-running rivalry. Nagy, the 2018 Coach of the Year, was only following in the footsteps of his predecessors, who all had a dismal record versus Green Bay.
In Chicago, there has been no discernible growth at quarterback, and the defence has taken a step backward. Pace's biggest move with the Bears, the Khalil Mack deal in 2018, started well but has since proven to be ineffective.
From a high-paid quarterback, Kirk Cousins, who has had some success, to strong runners and receivers, Minnesota's talent pool appears to be deeper than Chicago's. The payroll was high, but Zimmer and Spielman were condemned by their 2021 results and lack of advancement in the standings.
Flores, on the other hand, did not appear to be at risk of losing his position. Flores, one of three Black head coaches in the NFL, helped Miami recover from an abysmal first half of the season, going from 1-7 to 9-8, including triumphs over his former boss in New England in the opener and finale.
“I’ve been looking at this over three years now and watching the organization grow,” Ross said. “I think an organization can only function if it’s collaborative and it works well together, and I don’t think we were really working well as an organization ... to win consistently at the NFL level.”
During Gettleman's tenure, the Giants went 19-46 and were never in contention for the playoffs. Despite spending free agency money on No. 1 receiver Kenny Golladay and tight end Kyle Rudolph, plus a first-round draught pick on wideout Kadarius Toney, New York's offence was essentially invisible in 2021.
“It was a privilege to serve as the general manager of the New York Giants the last four years and to have spent so many years of my career with this franchise,” Gettleman said. “We obviously have not had the on-the-field success I expected, and that is disappointing.”