Vikings GM Talks About “Important Offseason”

a Wild Free
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Two years into the competitive rebuild, the Vikings have been eliminated from playoff contention despite starting the season with a 6-4 record. Once Kirk Cousins got hurt and Dobbs-mania faded, the team could not win football games with the QB carousel and a late-season decline from the previously stout defense.

Vikings GM Talks About “Important Offseason”

Vikings GM Talks About 'Important Offseason'
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The Vikes have gone 13-4 and 7-10 in the two seasons under the watch of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, and he has overseen two drafts in his tenure with the Vikings. While the first draft class certainly has been a reason for criticism, his second attempt at an infusion of youth was quite successful, with Jordan Addison, Ivan Pace, and Mekhi Blackmon all looking promising. He also acquired T.J. Hockenson by using some draft capital.

His third offseason in charge, however, will be a major one in the franchise’s history books, with quarterback Cousins set to hit free agency. Deciding on his fate and finding a potential successor in the draft could change the organization.

Lottery Ticket QB
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Adofo-Mensah was asked about the importance of the offseason and if he feels the pressure to get it right as it will shape the next five, eight, or ten seasons of Vikings football:

I would argue that I put that pressure on myself every offseason but I think it’s of utmost importance. I would say the five to eight to ten years probably depends on what positions you address and different things like that but it’s an important offseason, I can’t really run from that in any kind of way. We’ll continue to battle, we’ll continue to identify where we’re lacking in terms of where we want to be, and where we are now that’s the mindset we take.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Nothing can alter the future of a club like the attainment of a true franchise quarterback. But drafting a bust at the most important position can also set back a franchise for years. That’s at stake in the next few months. Of course, doing nothing because the latter option sounds scary is also a recipe for disaster.

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The tandem of Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell must identify the next franchise quarterback and acquire him at some point, and they might as well do it this year. It buys them multiple years of job security. And with Cousins having one foot out the door and the Vikings drafting higher than they have in a decade, it is the right time to find the solution at the QB position.

But it isn’t the only important item in Minnesota’s offseason, as star defender Danielle Hunter is also a free agent. His return would be crucial to keep improving the defense. Otherwise, that precious first-round pick can only fill one hole, that of the QB or that of the pass-rusher.

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Brian Flores could also lose some other leaders on the defense, with Jordan Hicks’ contract expiring and Harrison Smith possibly calling it a career. At least their respective successors are already in place with Pace and Josh Metellus.

Adofo-Mensah has also claimed he knows the importance of Justin Jefferson to the organization, meaning that a contract extension must get done, regardless of how absurd the salary numbers turn out.

The GM has many questions to answer in the next eight months before the 2024 season kicks off, a season in which he wants to field another competitive team.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt