This leadership makeover isn't inspired by scandal, or outright incompetence, or something as clear-cut as a dereliction of duty.

It was just time.

Time for a change. Time for a different approach. Time to acknowledge that staleness had taken root inside the Vikings organization and was impeding progress in the pursuit of a championship.

Zygi and Mark Wilf had their eyes wide open in arriving at the necessary decision to fire both General Manager Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer on Monday in what constitutes the most impactful football decision of their ownership.

Eight years of that tandem was enough.

"We have high expectations for this football team," Mark Wilf said Monday. "We believe we can be super-competitive right here in 2022. … As much of a difficult decision as it was, we feel it's the time and place to go in a different direction and get us to the next level."

Unflattering comments from several players Monday afternoon about team culture reinforced the need for new leadership. When star linebacker Eric Kendricks says that "I don't think a fear-based organization is the way to go," that shows serious problems were festering behind the scenes.

In making their decision, the Wilfs showed they recognize a Band-Aid won't fix a franchise that missed the playoffs three of the past four seasons with a roster filled with high-priced veterans. Removing only Zimmer from the equation without addressing personnel deficiencies would have been a lesson in scapegoating.

If assigning a letter grade to the Spielman-Zimmer regime, a B-minus feels appropriate. Good but not good enough and certainly not great.

Under Spielman and Zimmer's leadership, the Vikings always felt like they had a chance to be competitive but that they were never going to win a Super Bowl.

Their ceiling was higher than that of many teams, but lopsided losses in the playoffs brought a sobering reminder and realization that they weren't that close after all.

They danced a paralyzing tango for eight seasons. Two steps forward, two steps back. It was enticing, even hopeful at times, but you kept waiting for a larger payoff that just never materialized.

The NFL shelf life only values stability if the reward exceeds a brief playoff appearance every other year. This leadership duo had plenty of time and opportunity to get it right.

Spielman's ledger as GM includes draft-pick hits and misses, and one could spend a week playing pingpong with that discussion. His inability to draft and develop a franchise quarterback was a combination of his own miscalculations and some bad luck that led Spielman and Zimmer into their all-in covenant with Kirk Cousins.

The gamble didn't work, not in the way they envisioned and sold to the Wilfs. Instead, the triumvirate produced a 33-31-1 record and one playoff victory over four seasons.

Zimmer looked worn down by the end. A man who takes great pride in his defense fielded one of the NFL's worst defenses over the past two seasons, despite the organization committing significant capital to repair that side of the ball.

The old-school gruffness that made Zimmer so endearing and popular early in his tenure came across as get-off-my-lawn screeds by the end. His dismissive comments about rookie quarterback Kellen Mond after the debacle in Green Bay were unnecessarily harsh, indicating a cranky coach who had had enough.

The demands Zimmer placed on his offensive coordinator to run, run, run were ripped out of a 1995 playbook. His game management blunders became frequent. He took veiled shots at Spielman's personnel decisions at different times this season, a sign of his unhappiness with roster construction and also an indication that he felt pressure in a win-or-else season.

Ultimately, it was just time to part ways with both. The Wilfs mostly stay in the background on football matters, but they understand that the NFL is a results business. The Vikings hit their ceiling with Spielman and Zimmer. To believe that sticking with people that ownership clearly likes personally and trusted professionally would produce different results is naïve.

It was time to hand the baton to someone else, a fresh set of eyes with no bias or allegiances, knowing the roster has major issues to solve, starting with Cousins and his albatross contract.

The Spielman-Zimmer regime did plenty of good things for the organization, but their fate came down to one question: Where is this thing going after eight years?

The honest answer pushed their bosses to take a different path.