Minnesota Vikings coaching search "all-but wrapped up"

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Zimmer was reportedly emerging as a leading candidate for the head coaching job in Minnesota, along with two others. According to one report, their search is over and now they'll pick their head coach from a list of finalists.

Unresolved coaching vacancies around the NFL remain but there is some clarity. Jay Gruden departed for the Washington Redskins and Hue Jackson was promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator. For the Cincinnati Bengals, this is recharging a fanbase that's largely feeling defeated from Sunday's loss against the San Diego Chargers.

However, the Mike Zimmer storyline is extremely fluid and very much alive -- what is written right now may change within an hour, or at any moment throughout the day.

Here's where things stand.

According to ESPN, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and a mysterious third candidate (possibly someone that have yet to interview but really like) are rumored to be the favorites for the head coach vacancy in Minnesota. Words like finalists have even been used. When Vikings general manager Rick Spielman is ready, he'll present his group of finalists to Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf.

"Once we narrow it down to the potential two or three, our ownership will be involved along with myself through the interview process," Spielman said via the Star Tribune. "We will work collectively to get the decision the right way."

There's a belief that the Vikings may interview another round of candidates that includes San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Denver Broncos coordinators Jack Del Rio and Adam Gase.

However, Ian Rapoport with the NFL Network reports that their search is "all but wrapped".

Zimmer interviewed with Tennessee Titans general manager Ruston Webster on Thursday, who is scheduled to fly to California for a planned interview with Whisenhunt on Friday. Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell is also in play.

"Jim really enjoyed it in Tennessee. It was an all-day session. He and Ruston had a great conversation, going over who they are, what they built and what they envisioned moving forward," Fritz Pollard Alliance Chairman John Wooten said via the Tennessean. "He thought it was an excellent process. He has been through quite a few of these and thought it was as good as anywhere he’s been. He said it was a highly professional interview."

Gruden, who interviewed with the Titans on Tuesday, had to be crossed off their respective list after accepting the head coaching gig with the Washington Redskins.

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