Vikings GM Addresses Criticism Most Often Leveled against Him

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah who was hired in January 2022 after the club parted ways with Rick Spielman. The Vikings finished 13-4 in Adofo-Mensah's first season as general manager.

If you’ve spent any time around a group of Minnesota Vikings fans longer than 10 minutes, one man or woman will end up saying, “But what about the 2022 draft class?”

Vikings GM Addresses Criticism Most Often Leveled against Him

The draft haul has provided contributions from Ed Ingram (RG), Ty Chandler (RB), Akayleb Evans (CB), and Brian Asamoah (LB), with here-and-there moments from Jalen Nailor (WR) and Nick Muse (TE). But folks cannot shake the vanishing act from safety Lewis Cine or the limited playing time for cornerback Andrew Booth.

Criticism Most Often
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In fact, when some Vikings fans get in their feelings, they’re helpless to stop bemoaning Cine or Booth while wholly ignoring any production from Ingram, Chandler, Evans, and Asamoah. Vikings fans want every draft pick to hit, and if they do not in the first year or two, the dreaded bust label is attached without even seeing a Year No. 3 or No. 4.

So, that’s where a section of the Vikings fanbase is on Cine and Booth, and a reporter asked general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah about the young defenders at Minnesota’s end-of-season press conference on Wednesday. The message? The story about Cine and Booth isn’t entirely written yet, says Adofo-Mensah.

January 10th, 2024. Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center concluding the 2023 NFL regular season. Minnesota finished 7-10 in 2023 and missed the postseason.

“Cine didn’t have a rookie year pretty much. He got the injury, and now he comes to learn a new defense with Brian Flores, so I think that has to be considered,” the young executive replied.

The Vikings began to acclimate Cine onto special teams early in 2022, but he broke his leg in London — a compound fracture where the bone sticks through the skin. The anti-Adofo-Mensah crowd later waved off the injury and expected Cine to start last September. He did not.

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On Booth, Adofo-Mensah said, “Then, Andrew Booth, same thing, learning from a new defense, adjusting to this style of play. We are continuing to believe in our people, pour into them with our player development resources – all the things we have in this building – but, as I said earlier, it is a results business at the end of the day, and we will see where we end up.”

Brian Flores took over the Vikings’ defense in 2023 and improved the unit with the snap of two fingers. Minnesota’s defense isn’t quite elite but showed major flashes of promise this season, especially during Weeks 4 through 14.

Are All the Vikings Draft
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The takeaway from Adofo-Mensah? Give it time. Young players often — like, all the time — take longer than two seasons to blossom. Moreover, Cine and Booth are doing their part behind the scenes to contribute eventually.

And if either turns out as a bust, the Vikings will admit it, release the player(s), be accountable, and move on. Pretty simple stuff.

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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