Leslie Frazier won seven more games in 2012 than the previous season and finished third in NFL Coach of the Year voting after guiding the Vikings to the playoffs in a supposed rebuilding campaign.
For that, Vikings ownership gave him a golf clap.
Rather than offer Frazier a contract extension -- or even call his agent to discuss it -- the Vikings delivered a lukewarm vote of confidence by picking up his option for the 2014 season. That means Frazier technically has two seasons remaining under contract, but, in essence, he really only has one because the Vikings likely won't subject him to a lame-duck season. That's too much of a distraction.
In other words, Frazier finds himself in the same spot now as he did this time last year -- on the hot seat. He either wins a meaningful number of games again in 2013 and receives an extension, or he probably will be fired.
Regardless of what they say publicly, the Vikings' actions demonstrated that they still are not convinced Frazier is their long-term answer as coach. By declining to discuss an extension with Frazier or his agent, Vikings owners basically said, Nice job, Les. Now prove that 2012 wasn't a fluke and then we'll talk.
That's their prerogative, of course, and it might be smart business. But they handled the whole thing poorly in terms of timing and communication. And they're being naïve if they think this doesn't create an uncomfortable situation for Frazier, or that he's buying their "we're all in this for the long haul" spiel.
Frazier made his first public comments on the matter Friday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, and reporters noted that he framed his words carefully and seemed disappointed.
After stellar season, Frazier gets 'vote of no confidence'
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Feb 23