The Minnesota Vikings will hire former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores as their new defensive coordinator, ESPN and the NFL Network reported Monday.
Flores, 41, spent the 2022 season as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach after Miami fired him following a three-year stint as the team’s head coach.
Flores, who is Black, has a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and three teams, claiming racial discrimination in hiring practices. He alleges that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him a $100,000 bonus for each game Flores lost during the 2019 season in an attempt to secure the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft.
Flores also named the New York Giants and Denver Broncos in the suit, saying the teams used him to “check their boxes” of interviewing minority candidates for the Rooney Rule before hiring white head coaches. He alleged that former Broncos general manager John Elway and colleagues arrived an hour late for an interview with him and appeared disheveled from a night of drinking, which Elway roundly denied.
Flores interviewed for the Arizona Cardinals’ head-coaching vacancy during the recent hiring cycle and also reportedly interviewed for defensive coordinator jobs in Cleveland and Denver.
The Vikings fired Ed Donatell after their early exit from the playoffs. Minnesota won the NFC North at 13-4 and earned the No. 3 postseason seed but lost 31-24 to the Giants in the wild-card round.
The Vikings ranked 31st in total defense (388.7 yards per game) and tied for 28th in scoring defense (25.1 ppg) in the 2022 regular season.
This will be Flores’ first time serving as a coordinator. He was a position coach on defense as well as a special-teams coach during a long run on the New England Patriots’ staff (2008-18).