Spielman reiterates Vikings' support for Frazier
FEB 15, 2013 3:36p ET
Instead of extending Frazier's deal, Minnesota chose this week to exercise an option on his contract, which has him now tied to the Vikings through the 2014 season. General manager Rick Spielman said the choice on Frazier has no bearing on the team's support for Frazier heading into his third full year as Minnesota's head coach.
"There's no question of the support that our ownership group, myself, I think our whole organization has for Leslie Frazier," Spielman said Friday.
Frazier, who's been praised by players for his consistent approach and calm demeanor, tied for third in the Coach of the Year voting last season. In two-plus years, including his term as an interim coach in 2010, Frazier owns a 16-22 coaching mark.
With one of the league's youngest rosters, an inconsistent second-year quarterback in Christian Ponder and playing half the season without talented receiver Percy Harvin, Frazier led the Vikings to their first playoff berth since 2009. Frazier was entering the final year of the three-year contract he signed to be the team's permanent coach in January 2011 but now has two years to work with the team and continue the development shown last season.
"Our biggest thing was, Leslie has done an outstanding job here," Spielman said. "He's been a great leader of the men down in the locker room. We expect him to be our coach for a long time. He's been outstanding at everything from leadership to development of young players, everything we're doing. We're just looking forward to getting ready for next year and anything from a contractual standpoint or anything like that will always be held internal, just like players. We don't talk about player's or coach's contracts."
Many expected that last season's success, including the late-season run in which Minnesota had to win its final four games to earn the last wild-card spot in the NFC, would make an extension for Frazier a cinch. But Frazier's agent Bob LaMonte reportedly told the Minneapolis Star Tribune this week that no negotiations had taken place.
Spielman doesn't believe the situation will be a problem with Frazier.
"No, not with Leslie Frazier," Spielman said. "I don't want to put words, but Leslie Frazier if you know what type of character and what type of person he is and what he stands for. I know, just being with him, as we're getting ready for the UFA and draft preparation, we're very excited to build off of last year."
Clarifying draft picks: Spielman said Friday that the team currently has nine picks in April's draft.
Minnesota has one pick in each of the first three rounds, two fourth-round selections, a fifth-, a sixth- and two seventh-round picks.
The Vikings swapped sixth- and seventh-rounders in a trade for cornerback A.J. Jefferson prior to last season. Minnesota retained its original sixth-round choice from the ill-fated deal for quarterback Donovan McNabb in 2011. The Vikings surrendered one sixth-round pick to the Washington Redskins in the deal, but Spielman said the team will be keeping the second of the two sixth-rounders, a conditional pick in the trade.
"There was some confusion," Spielman said.
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