Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer admitted this week he made a mistake by cutting safety Kurt Coleman in 2014 only a few months after Coleman was signed.
But Coleman, in his second year as a Panthers safety, doesn’t see it that way.
Coleman said he understood Zimmer’s decision, pointing out his release eventually led him to Carolina, where he was a starter on the Panthers’ Super Bowl team last season.
“It’s nice to hear that (Zimmer) said that. But honestly, I think he felt like he made the best decision for the team at that time,” Coleman said Thursday. “There was no animosity, there was no hard feelings. Because if he felt like I needed to go because it freed up a spot for someone else, that’s just the way it is.”
A day after his release, Coleman said he and his wife were in church in Eden Prarie, Minn., where the Vikings’ facility is located. When the service was over, Coleman had a message from his agent saying the Chiefs had signed him.
A few hours later he was on his way to Kansas City. Coleman said the experience helped his faith grow.
“I can’t remember the exact message. I just remember I was literally moved to tears from it,” he said. “And I just trusted whatever was going to happen, it would be the right move.”
Coleman spent one season with the Chiefs before coming to Charlotte, where his seven interceptions in 2015 tied for the second-most in team history and matched the third-best total in the NFL last season.
With the Vikings preparing to play at Charlotte on Sunday, Zimmer conceded Coleman was one who shouldn’t have gotten away.
“It was my first year here. He was hurt for a while and he never really jumped out at you,” Zimmer said. “But obviously he had an unbelievable year. He’s a great kid. He worked real hard when he was here. We probably made a mistake but I’m glad he’s doing well.”