Zimmer is the second top Bengals' coordinator to leave this month after offensive coordinator Jay Gruden took the head coaching job with the Washington Redskins. Just like Hue Jackson was promoted internally to replace Gruden, the Bengals have announced that linebacker coach Paul Guenther will be the new defensive mastermind.
Zimmer had been in talks with several teams over the past two seasons, but it was the second trip to Minnesota that led most to believe that's where he would end up. He will be charged with fixing a Vikings offense that desperately needs a quarterback and he also inherits one of the worst defenses in the NFL (second to last in yards allowed, last in points allowed).
He has not yet named any coordinators that will be joining him, but Guenther had been rumored to take the defensive coordinator role on Zimmer's staff. That's when Mike Brown and the Bengals front office signed Guenther to a three year deal to take over for Zimmer under Marvin Lewis.
Zimmer had been with the Bengals since 2008 and previously held the same position with Atlanta (2007) and Dallas (2000-2006). Under his watch the Bengals defense finished in the top five this season in rushing (96.5) and passing (209) yards allowed despite losing stud lineman Geno Atkins to injury.