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ESPN is predicting a reunion for Mike Zimmer

With one of his former players

Cincinnati Bengals v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

We’re well into the doldrums of the offseason, but the Minnesota Vikings still have roster holes to fill and moves to make before everyone reports to Training Camp on 27 July. One prominent football writer is predicting a reunion for Mike Zimmer and one of his former players from his time with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Behind the great E$PN paywall, Bill Barnwell has a list of 15 moves that he believes make sense between now and the start of the 2021 NFL season. One of those moves involves the Vikings signing former Bengals’ defensive tackle Geno Atkins to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. Here’s his commentary on the move:

Atkins’ breakout years came when Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator in Cincinnati, and the Vikings head coach could use some pass-rushing help in Minnesota. Atkins was anonymous last year as the Bengals reduced his role in the lineup, but the 33-year-old is only two seasons removed from a 10-sack campaign. Atkins would slot in as an interior rusher on passing downs as part of a rotation with run-stuffer Michael Pierce.

I guess I can understand the logic here, with the Vikings likely still needing help on the defensive line. On the other hand, the team gave a bunch of money to Dalvin Tomlinson to kick off their free agency signing period this year and have pretty much said that he’s going to be the 3-technique next to Pierce. That would put Atkins into more of a rotational role and someone that would likely come onto the field for Pierce in obvious passing situations.

As Barnwell points out, Atkins isn’t getting any younger. . .he’d immediately be the third-oldest player on the Vikings’ roster if they were to sign him to a deal. But if he can still be effective as part of a rotation rather than a full-time role, this could be a signing that benefits the Vikings for the short term.

Thoughts on a potential reunion between Mike Zimmer and Geno Atkins, folks?