Vikings’ Brian Flores Among Betting Leaders to Land HC Job With NFC Rival

Brian Flores, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Defensive coordinator Brian Flores of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings have a lot of decisions to make this offseason.

Most notably, they have to figure out which way to go with Kirk Cousins, Danielle Hunter, and Harrison Smith. They are all free agents this offseason, with Justin Jefferson’s contract situation looming. But they could also lose defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

Of the seven remaining coaching vacancies, Flores is most prominently linked to the Washington Commanders. He is in a five-way tie for the sixth-best odds, per Ricky Henne Action Network.

The Commanders just hired their general manager, Adam Peters, on January 12.

Despite those odds, the candidate with the best odds — Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson — does appear to be the favorite in league circles as well.

Washington went 4-13 this past season, the fourth under former head coach Ron Rivera. He failed to have a winning record in any campaign with the Commanders.

Flores’ three-year head coaching tenure with the Miami Dolphins ended in controversy and a lawsuit. After a one-year stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022, Flores landed with the Vikings this past season.

The Vikings’ defense jumped 15 spots each in points and yards allowed this season under Flores compared to 2022 under his predecessor, Ed Donatell. With limited resources barring some cost-cutting moves – which could include re-signing Cousins – there is enough on their plate without having to worry about replacing a coordinator.

Even if Flores returns, the Vikings need to continue to add pieces to a unit that tailed off down the stretch, in part due to injuries. Flores got creative with the Vikings’ defenders, finding success with a three-safety alignment. But the team still needed more juice in the pass rush, particularly from the interior.

Adding more talent could also help entice Flores to stay, though the allure of returning to the top post might be too much to pass up.

Insider Named Brian Flores Among Favorites to Replace Bill Belichick

Brian Flores, Minnesota Vikings

GettyDefensive coordinator Brian Flores of the Minnesota Vikings.

“Expect to hear Jerod Mayo, Mike Vrabel and Brian Flores as most likely [Bill] Belichick successors in New England,” ESPN’s Dan Graziano posted on X, formerly Twitter, on January 11.

Belichick stepped down after 24 years at the helm of the NFL’s most recent dynasty.

But the Patriots are one of if not the model of consistency in the NFL for the last two decades. They moved swiftly, naming Mayo as Belichick’s replacement on January 12.

It would have been a return to where it all began for Flores. He is a Boston College alum and was a staffer with the Patriots in various capacities for 15 years from 2004 through 2018. He only left that job to take the head coaching position with the Dolphins.

While the ties between Flores and the Patriots were strong, he may have ended up returning next season anyway. He checked in with the third-best odds behind Mayo — who was the Patriots inside linebackers coach under Belichick — and Vrable, who stepped away from his head coaching job with the  Tennesee Titans, per BetMassachusetts.

Both Mayo and Vrabel played for Flores during his time with the Patriots.

Fans Speculate on Brian Flores’ Future

Brian Flores, Minnesota Vikings

GettyDefensive Coordinator Brian Flores of the Minnesota Vikings.

Flores has yet to take or even be slated for any interviews, per various reports. But there could have been something telling about the pre-existing connection and opportunity in New England.

“A little birdie told us that in his end of season interview, Vikings DC Brian Flores told the team he has no interest in leaving outside of a generational Head coaching opt (NE, Dallas, Pittsburgh),” one fan account wrote on X, formerly Twitter on January 8.

That fan was hoping to see Flores return next season. They may get their wish.

“My gut says if Brian Flores is back as Vikings DC,” another fan wrote on the platform. “He brings Harrison Smith back no matter what.”

Smith is under contract for two more seasons, though he will be 35 years old on February 2. The Vikings also have five opening-day starters — including captains Hunter and Jordan Hicks — and breakout pass rusher DJ Wonnum hitting free agency this offseason. Bringing them back or replacing them is as much of a priority as bringing back Flores.