Frazier’s time may be running out

AP

Nearly nine years ago, the Bengals fired Leslie Frazier.  Today, the Bengals could be getting him fired.

With Cincinnati rolling over the Vikings, it’s becoming more likely that Frazier’s three-year tenure as the Minnesota head coach will end after the end of the Week 17 farewell to the Metrodome.

Earlier on Sunday, ESPN reported that Vikings ownership has been telling others around the league that a coaching change is expected.  Last week, CBS reported that the Vikings already have contacted Penn State Bill O’Brien; perhaps most tellingly, the Vikings informed PFT earlier this week that the team had no comment in response to the O’Brien report.

Jay Glazer of FOX reported Sunday that recent success by the Vikings could save Frazier.  That success has evaporated in Cincinnati, where the Vikings look as bad as they have during Frazier’s tenure.

A coaching change could be awkward for the Vikings, given that the next two years will be spent playing outdoors, before the team returns indoors at its new stadium.  Also complicating the situation will be the status of G.M. Rick Spielman.  If Spielman stays, otherwise desirable coaching candidates who crave control or their own G.M. may shy away.

The clearest sign of potential trouble for Frazier came in the offseason, when the Vikings rewarded Frazier for an unlikely playoff berth not with a new contract but by picking up the 2014 option on his deal.  With only one year of job security beyond 2013, Frazier faced an up-or-out season in Minnesota.

As of right now, it appears that the answer will be out.