The Vikings’ search for an offensive coordinator to replace Pat Shurmur is now in its third week, and could continue for at least a week longer. The team wants to interview Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, according to a league source, but as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday, the Vikings have to wait until Feb. 14 to do so.
Coaches’ contracts typically run until 10 days after the conclusion of a team’s season, and teams can block their coaches from interviewing for other jobs until those contracts expire. Unless, of course, the other job in question is a head coaching position.
That’s where Josh McDaniels’ bombshell of a decision to back out of the Colts’ head coaching job could affect the Vikings. The Colts could be starting over with a new batch of candidates now that McDaniels decided to stay with the Patriots, and they’re reportedly interested in interviewing DeFilippo. Because they’ve got a head coaching position, they can talk to DeFilippo before Feb. 14, while the Vikings have to wait until DeFilippo’s deal with the Eagles is expired before they talk to him. A source said last week DeFilippo is likely to stay in Philadelphia, but it’s always possible a head coaching position could entice him to leave — especially if he has some confidence that quarterback Andrew Luck will be able to return from his shoulder issues, which appears to be an open question at this point.
Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski could also be affected during this process, as he waits to see if he’ll get the Vikings’ offensive coordinator job. League sources pegged Stefanski as the front-runner for the job during Super Bowl week, but as the Vikings wait to interview DeFilippo, it at least means they want to consider all their possible options before hiring Stefanski. New Giants coach Pat Shurmur has said he plans to hire an offensive coordinator, and Stefanski is believed to be a leading candidate to join him in New York. As he evaluates his prospects in Minnesota, though, the Giants have yet to hire an offensive coordinator.
Now, the Vikings could be waiting on the possibility of DeFilippo getting strong consideration for the Colts job — or even replacing Frank Reich as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator. Reich, who began his coaching career with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, could get a shot at the Colts job, as well.
Essentially, there are several dominos that need to fall before a number of openings — including the Vikings’ offensive coordinator job — are filled. McDaniels’ decision put another contingency in place Tuesday night, and especially if they’re continuing their wait for DeFilippo, the Vikings could be biding their time for a while.