MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, the vice president of football operations for Cleveland, has emerged as the front-runner for the Minnesota Vikings’ general manager job.
Adofo-Mensah was in Minnesota for his second formal interview with the organization on Tuesday, his first in-person visit.
The Vikings targeted Adofo-Mensah and Kansas City executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles as their finalists, and Poles was hired on Tuesday as Chicago’s general manager. Adofo-Mensah also interviewed with the Bears.
The Vikings, who fired Rick Spielman on Jan. 10 after 16 seasons with the organization and 10 years with full authority over the roster as GM, went 8-9 in 2021. They missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
The 40-year-old Adofo-Mensah has economics degrees from Princeton and Stanford and worked as a Wall Street trader before entering the NFL in 2013 with San Francisco in research and development. After seven seasons with the 49ers, Adofo-Mensah was hired by the Browns in 2020. He was a walk-on basketball player at Princeton.
Adofo-Mensah’s background couldn’t be more different from Spielman, the son of a high school coach who played in college and watched his younger brother become a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker in the NFL. The 59-year-old Spielman and worked his way up as a scout for Detroit before landing management positions with Chicago and Miami. He was a meticulous evaluator who frequently stood off by himself while the Vikings practiced, carefully watching every drill and play.
The six others who had video interviews this month with the Vikings were Philadelphia director of player personnel Brandon Brown, Cleveland vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook, Tennessee director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort, Philadelphia vice president of football operations Catherine Raîche, Tampa Bay vice president of player personnel John Spytek and New England scouting consultant Eliot Wolf.
The first order of business for the new general manager will be, in conjunction with owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf, to hire a head coach. Mike Zimmer was fired after eight seasons on the same day as Spielman, and the Vikings are now one of nine teams searching for a coach.
Then there are the many conundrums surrounding the roster, with one of the tightest salary cap situations in the league this year in light of the scheduled $45 million charge for quarterback Kirk Cousins in the final season of his contract.
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