For a good chunk of the second half of the 2023 NFL regular season, there was a lot of speculation that the Minnesota Vikings could lose defensive coordinator Brian Flores to a head coaching job. With names being tossed all over as having sat for interviews with teams and seven current head coaching openings around the league, Flores has generated just about no interest, as there haven’t even been any reports about him being contacted for an interview at this point.
Sure, the Vikings defense fell apart a bit at the end of the season, but there’s a bigger reason that Flores hasn’t gotten that interest.
As yours truly has been pointing out on the Vikings Report with Drew and Ted postgame shows for several weeks, Flores still has a lawsuit pending against the National Football League. The lawsuit accuses the NFL of discriminatory hiring practices in the wake of Flores being fired by the Miami Dolphins. In addition to the league, he is suing three specific franchises: the Denver Broncos, the Houston Texans, and the New York Giants. Among the more specific allegations are accusations that the Giants conducted a “sham interview process” in their search that ultimately led to them hiring Brian Daboll ahead of the 2022 season.
A judge ruled that Flores would have to pursue his claims against the Dolphins, including accusations of Dolphins’ ownership demanding that he try to lose games on purpose, through arbitration.
There’s no doubt that the job that Flores did through most of this season should have been enough to get him at least a phone call for an interview at this point. The Vikings’ defense was terrible in 2022 and Flores, who arguably had less talent at his disposal than Ed Donatell did the season before, had the unit as one of the league’s best defenses for much of the season.
However, the league probably doesn’t want a guy that’s actively suing them to end up with one of their 32 most prestigious jobs. And while they haven’t explicitly said anything about it. . .you may hate Roger Goodell, but he’s not an idiot or anything. . .the rest of the teams in the league have apparently made the decision that they don’t want to potentially defy the shield and bring Flores in for one of those opportunities.
As a Vikings fan, I’m pretty happy that it doesn’t look like the team is going to use Brian Flores. He’s going to get another opportunity to implement his defense in 2024 and should have more talent to work with, along with a bunch of players that made significant progress in 2023 and should only continue their upward trajectory in 2024. They’re going to lose Flores at some point, and he should almost certainly get another opportunity to run an NFL team from the sideline. The reason it doesn’t appear he’s going to get that chance for the 2024 season has pretty much nothing to do with his ability to coach.