Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Unafraid to Roll the Dice

The World Has "Grades" for Vikings Big Trade
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

The Minnesota Vikings announced tight end T.J. Hockenson’s mega extension Thursday, tipping the monetary scales at four years and $68.5 million. The deal makes Hockenson the richest tight end in NFL history and fastens him to the Vikings roster through the 2027 season.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Unafraid to Roll the Dice

That was the big news, and nothing dwarfed it. However, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah spoke on a few topics, and one fascinating facet emerged: his affinity for risk-taking.

Unafraid to Roll
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On his watch, which now spans about 20 months, the Vikings will not stop taking risks via trade or free agency just because some players haven’t worked out.

Adofo-Mensah was clear about the stance and won’t waver.

Overhauled Teams
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The young executive was asked about last summer’s unsuccessful trades involving Jalen Reagor and Ross Blacklock, who were waived this week amid roster cuts. He replied, “We’re gonna keep taking risks in this organization.”

Adofo-Mensah also lamented the departures of Reagor and Blacklock, “Those conversations are hard because when they do everything you ask of them, and it might not work out for them, it’s a tough outcome.”

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Reagor and Blacklock were affiliated with the Vikings for one year almost on the nose but did not significantly contribute during the 2022 season and straddled the roster bubble this summer. Then this week, Minnesota kept WR Brandon Powell instead of Reagor and Jaquelin Roy over Blacklock. Change, indeed.

“Every pick you make is a decision that has [potential outcomes]. It’s a portfolio, in a sense, and you’ve gotta measure the portfolio in the end. When we go into these decisions, we know that we don’t think we have every answer figured out, but we’re aligned in what we think the player can do. And we’re gonna see how that’s going to work out over the long haul,” Adofo-Mensah continued.

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Meanwhile, Hockenson’s extension symbolized an Adofo-Mensah trade gone right. The Vikings received Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-round pick (Jay Ward), and a 2024 fourth-round pick while giving up a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-rounder last November in a deal with the rival Detroit Lions. Hockenson sticking around for the next five years affirms the trade’s efficacy.

Adofo-Mensah concluded about his risk-taking tendencies, “But you can’t ever sweat one decision because it doesn’t work, because you have to look at it in a portfolio sense. And we like a lot of the moves we’ve made, and ultimately, not everyone is going to work out perfect.”

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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