Cottrell Hangs It Up

Former Vikings defensive coordintor Ted Cottrell has informed the NFL that he's retiring -- and not by his choice.

Ted Cottrell has coached 22 years in the NFL, but the 23rd season apparently isn't in the plans.

Cottrell submitted retirement paperwork to the NFL league office recently after failing to hook on with another team following his dismissal as Vikings defensive coordinator.

While he was a candidate for a couple of assistant coaching positions -- including defensive coordinator openings with the Chargers and Saints -- and an interview to be the Vikings head coach before the team selected Brad Childress, more than a month after the Vikings made their decision, he was still without a position. That was the impetus to send in his retirement paperwork.

Cottrell said he didn't want to retire.

Cottrell is one of many former assistants of Mike Tice that have found it difficult to hook up with a new team. Of the Tice assistants that were fired when Childress came on board, only three have found employment elsewhere. Former offensive coordinator Steve Loney was hired by Denny Green as his offensive line coach in Arizona, Randy Hanson was tabbed by Scott Linehan as the Rams offensive quality control coach and Kurtis Schultz was hired Monday by the Buccaneers as their assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Cottrell was an innovator of the 3-4 defense, but never was able to fully install that base formation with the Vikings. While he's gone, his legacy lives on with the former players he brought to the Vikings to help out their struggling defense, including Antoine Winfield, Pat Williams, Sam Cowart and Keith Newman. Newman and Cowart are scheduled to be free agents in March if the Vikings don't re-sign them before March 3.

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