One Item Remains On Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s Offseason Checklist
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has, for the most part, checked everything off his offseason to-do list.
During free agency, several deals were redone, giving Minnesota extra financial wiggle room. In so doing, the team could add Jordan Hicks, Chris Reed, Harrison Phillips, and Za’Darius Smith (among others). They were able to retain the majority of their high-end internal talent. Heck, they even brought Patrick Peterson back to stabilize the secondary.
During the draft, Adofo-Mensah made a concerted effort to improve the defense. Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth Jr. – Minnesota’s first two selections – both have a legit shot at becoming starters in their rookie seasons. If a few other players turn into great depth and special teams contributors, then Vikings fans will be thrilled with how things turned out.
Nevertheless, there remains one issue that needs to be addressed. The Vikings don’t have much competition for Garrett Bradbury beyond an UDFA, Austin Schlottmann, and perhaps a few of the depth iOL players.
The one item that remains, then, is to sign veteran free agent J.C. Tretter.
Tretter, who is 32, played more than 1000 snaps for Cleveland last year. He has played in 16 games for five-straight seasons.
He put forth a really strong 78.7 PFF grade, the 6th-best score among centers from the 2021 season. Both his run and pass blocking are strong, but his 83.7 pass-blocking score is 2nd-best. How much of a difference could it make for the Vikings to get elite pass-blocking from their center? In a word: massive.
Currently, there isn’t too much hope that Bradbury can turn things around. It’s possible that Kevin O’Connell can help, but it would be pretty unexpected to see the nearly 27-year-old center suddenly climb into the NFL’s top tier.
Money is snug for the Vikings, so any deal with Tretter would need to be modest. Keep in mind, though, that a trade involving Bradbury would offer the Vikings more than $2.25M in cap relief. That’s a productive starting point for Tretter; it’s possible he could be signed for not too much more. Teams, for the most part, have spent their money, so it seems unlikely that Tretter will get a huge deal.
If the Minnesota Vikings really want to set themselves up for success, then improving the offensive line remains a priority. Signing J.C. Tretter would signal that the team is fully on board with competing for a Super Bowl after the 2022 season.
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