Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Vikings Prioritizing New Contracts For Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Tomlinson

The second offseason at the helm for Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will involve a number of key decisions, but working out an extension with wideout Justin Jefferson will obviously be one of them. The former’s remarks indicated that the star receiver is at or neat the top of Minnesota’s to-do list.

“I don’t want to be the Vikings’ GM without that guy on our team,” Adofo-Mensah said, via ESPN’s Kevin Seifert“So it’s a high priority. We’ve got to make sure we do in the order that we can do it in, obviously, given all of our other decisions we have to make.”

Having played three seasons in the NFL, Jefferson is now eligible for a new deal. Given his production, it would come as no surprise if it were to place him atop the pecking order in terms of compensation amongst receivers. The 23-year-old led the NFL in receptions and yards in 2022; those numbers earned him a third straight Pro Bowl nod, a place on the All-Pro First Team and Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Jefferson has racked up 4,825 yards in his career – the most in NFL history over the course of a player’s first three seasons. That, coupled with the substantial increase seen in the value of high-end WRs last offseason in particular, make the LSU product an obvious extension candidate. The Vikings are more than $24MM over the cap at the moment, however, and the team could wait until later in the offseason (or 2024) before inking Jefferson to his second contract.

That same cannot be said of defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, though. Minnesota recently pushed back the void deadline on his contract to give themselves more time to work out a new deal. The 29-year-old put up a nearly identical statline to his previous season (42 tackles, 2.5 sacks) in 2022, which has drawn praise from the team and opened up the possibility of a new Vikings deal for the former Giants draftee.

“We love Dalvin,” Adofo-Mensah said. “Whenever you have good players in your building, good people, you want to do everything you can to keep him. Obviously we have a lot of decisions to make so we’re trying to buy ourselves a little bit more time, but… he’s a great guy, great player and we love him.”

Adofo-Mensah’s comments come in the wake of others which pointed to Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook having an uncertain future in Minnesota. The four-time Pro Bowler finds himself a cut candidate with the Vikings in a complicated financial situation. Becoming cap compliant will top the team’s priority list in the coming days, but keeping Jefferson and Tomlinson in the fold for the foreseeable future will be key offseason goals as well.

Vikings Express Support For Kirk Cousins As 2023 Starter

The Vikings’ early playoff exit came as a surprise to many given the team’s success in the regular season, and it has already led to the dismissal of defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. While plenty of questions remain for his former unit, the team’s offense has plenty of pieces in place to give them optimism for repeated success in 2023.

One key member of the offense, quarterback Kirk Cousins, is on the books for next year and received a vote of confidence from the team’s new power brokers at their season-ending press conference regarding his status heading into next year. The 34-year-old’s financial situation could change in the near future, but he is slated to remain at the top of the depth chart.

“It’s our expectation that he’ll be our quarterback,” general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press“I can’t say exactly how [his contract status] would look. Again, we have everything at our disposal. We’ll consider all those things just like we would with everyone else on the roster

Cousins inked a one-year, $35MM extension last March to keep him signed for the 2023 campaign. The deal helped lower his cap hit dramatically, though the new figure ($31.42MM) still ranked third amongst all players this season. As a result of the new contract, Cousins is slated to count for $36.25MM against the cap in 2023, and another $12.5MM the following season through a void year.

The four-time Pro Bowler earned a second straight all-star game selection this season, one in which he threw for 4,547 yards (the second-highest total in his career), and 29 touchdowns. His play helped lead the team to a 13-4 record (including 11-0 in one-possession games), making the first season under head coach Kevin O’Connell a success.

The latter echoed Adofo-Mensah’s support of Cousins, saying he was impressed with his “ownership” of the team’s new offensive system. That will inevitably lead to expectations for a repeat of this season’s performance and efficiency on that side of the ball – the Vikings ranked top-10 in both scoring and total offense – with Cousins no doubt playing a large role in the unit’s level of play.

Of course, any moves Minnesota makes this offseason will come not only against the backdrop of Cousins’ deal, but also that of Justin Jefferson being eligible for an extension. Adofo-Mensah added that preliminary talks have taken place regarding what will no doubt be a monster deal for the star wideout. Regardless of the progress made on that front in the near future, both Jefferson and Cousins will be in place to lead Minnesota’s offense in 2023.

Latest On Extension Talks Between Vikings, WR Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson has put up historic numbers to begin his career, and the Vikings are naturally interested in keeping him for the long run. Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah acknowledged today that the organization has had “preliminary conversations” with Jefferson’s camp about a long-term deal (via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Twitter).

ESPN’s Adam Schefter slightly pushed back at that report (on Twitter). A source told Schefter that while the two sides are expected to have contract talks this offseason, they haven’t officially started negotiations.

Either way, it sounds like the Vikings are prepared to pay to make Jefferson a long-term staple. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise; since entering the league as a 2020 first-round pick, Jefferson has averaged more than 100 receptions and 1,600 receiving yards per season. He took it to another level in 2022, finishing with 128 catches for 1,809 yards and eight touchdowns (plus another score on the ground) en route to his first career first-team All-Pro nod. Jefferson also set an NFL record for most receiving yards through a player’s first three seasons.

Considering Jefferson’s youth and prolific production, there’s a good chance he’ll set at least one new contract benchmark at wide receiver. Davante Adams‘ contract leads the way with $140MM, but Jefferson could also strive for a league-setting AAV (Tyreek Hill, $30MM), total guarantee (Cooper Kupp, $75MM), and/or full guarantee (A.J. Brown, $56.4MM).

Considering the impending financial investment, Adofo-Mensah described the situation as a “champagne problem” for the front office to deal with.

“I wouldn’t use the word challenge,” Adofo-Mensah said (via Andrew Kramer of the Star Tribune). “You got a special player, a special person. Those aren’t problems. Or at least those are champagne problems. So we’ll start there.

“We’ll get back to [contract talks] in the planning. It really starts from the player, the person and we’ll work on solutions from there on.”

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured GMs

Wednesday, we took a look at how the 2022 offseason changed the HC landscape. While 10 new sideline leaders are in place for 2022, not quite as much turnover transpired on the general manager front. Five new decision-makers, however, have moved to the top of teams’ front office hierarchies over the past six months.

The Bears, Giants, Raiders and Vikings rebooted their entire operations, hiring new HC-GM combos. The Minnesota move bumped out one of the previous top-10 longest-tenured GMs, with 16-year Vikings exec Rick Spielman no longer in power in the Twin Cities. The Steelers’ shakeup took the NFL’s longest-tenured pure GM out of the mix. Kevin Colbert was with the Steelers since 2000, and although he is still expected to remain with the team in a reduced capacity, the 22-year decision-maker stepped down shortly after Ben Roethlisberger wrapped his career.

Twelve teams have now hired a new GM in the past two offseasons, though a bit more staying power exists here compared to the HC ranks. Two GMs (the Cardinals’ Steve Keim and Chargers’ Tom Telesco) have begun their 10th years at the helms of their respective front offices. They have hired three HCs apiece. The Buccaneers’ Jason Licht is closing in on a decade in power in Tampa Bay; Licht will now work with his fourth HC in Todd Bowles. Beyond that, a bit of a gap exists. But a handful of other executives have been in power for at least five seasons.

Here is how long every GM or de facto GM has been in place with his respective franchise:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  5. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010; signed extension in 2021
  6. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010; signed extension in 2022
  7. Les Snead (Los Angeles Rams): February 10, 2012; signed extension in 2019
  8. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013; signed extension in 2022
  9. Tom Telesco (Los Angeles Chargers): January 9, 2013; signed extension in 2018
  10. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014; signed extension in 2021
  11. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016[4]
  12. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016; signed extension in 2022
  13. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  14. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017; signed extension in 2021
  15. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  16. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  17. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  18. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019
  19. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  20. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  21. Nick Caserio (Houston Texans): January 5, 2021
  22. George Paton (Denver Broncos): January 13, 2021
  23. Scott Fitterer (Carolina Panthers): January 14, 2021
  24. Brad Holmes (Detroit Lions): January 14, 2021
  25. Terry Fontenot (Atlanta Falcons): January 19, 2021
  26. Trent Baalke (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 21, 2021
  27. Martin Mayhew (Washington Commanders): January 22, 2021
  28. Joe Schoen (New York Giants): January 21, 2022
  29. Ryan Poles (Chicago Bears): January 25, 2022
  30. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (Minnesota Vikings): January 26, 2022
  31. Dave Ziegler (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  32. Omar Khan (Pittsburgh Steelers): May 24, 2022


  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Although Grier was hired in 2016, he became the Dolphins’ top football exec on Dec. 31, 2018

NFC North Notes: Vikings Front Office Hire, Hundley, Jones, Alexander

New Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made a noteworthy addition to his staff earlier this week. The team announced the hiring of Demitrius Washington as their new vice president of football operations.

Washington had spent seven years with the 49ers, a stretch which overlapped with Adofo-Mensah’s time in that organization. For the past two seasons, Washington served as San Francisco’s director of research and development, the same title Adofo-Mensah held with the Browns prior to his hire. The pair will now reunite and, along with new head coach Kevin O’Connell, oversee the franchise’s transition from the previous Rick Spielman-Mike Zimmer regime.

Here are some other notes from around the NFC North, starting with one more from Minnesota:

  • The Vikings brought in veteran backup quarterback Brett Hundley as a tryout during rookie minicamp, but they made it clear they would not be signing him, as noted by Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. The 28-year-old hasn’t made a regular season appearance since 2019, most recently spending time with the Colts. Minnesota’s QB room currently consists of Kirk Cousins, Kellen Mond, Sean Mannion and Nate Stanley.
  • The Bears used one of their 11 picks in last month’s draft to add to its receiving corps, selecting Velus Jones in the third round. The team is high on his speed and versatility, leading to the new coaching staff having “big plans” for the 25-year-old. “Let’s start out at receiver and then let’s see what he can do, moving him around to different spots and getting him the ball, because he is an explosive athlete” head coach Matt Eberflus said, via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. After transferring from USC to Tennessee, Jones produced both on offense and special teams, recording 807 receiving yards and leading the SEC in both punt and kick return yardage in 2021.
  • An interesting note came out in the aftermath of Jaire Alexander‘s record-breaking extension with the Packers. USA Today’s Josina Anderson reports (on Twitter) that the Pro Bowler specifically wanted a four-year (rather than five-year) deal. He got just that, helping him to break the record briefly held by Denzel Ward for the highest annual average amongst cornerbacks at $21MM per season, and keeping him under contract through 2026.

2022 NFL General Manager Search Tracker

Along with the head coaches being fired, a few NFL teams are looking for new general managers. Listed below are the GM candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status.

If and when other teams decide to make GM changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 5-24-22 (9:03pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Vikings To Hire Kwesi Adofo-Mensah As GM?

The Vikings have agreed to hire Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as their next GM (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of The two sides were hard at work on the contract early this morning, as first reported by’s Ian Rapoport, and they’ve now got everything in place. It’ll be a four-year deal for Adofo-Mensah worth $12MM, according to’s Cameron Wolfe (on Twitter).

Adofo-Mensah was one of two finalists in Minnesota, alongside Ryan Poles. But, after the Bears pounds on the former Chiefs’ executive director of player personnel, Adofo-Mensah was the last man standing.

Adofo-Mensah was also in the running for the Panthers job last year, but he didn’t make it to the finalist stage. Before joining Cleveland’s front office in 2020 under Andrew Berry, the Stanford grad spent seven years with the 49ers. The Bears also looked at him in this cycle before settling on Poles.

Now, he’ll take over for longtime GM Rick Spielman and lead the search for Mike Zimmer‘s replacement. The Vikings have already begun doing their homework on that front, chatting with eight candidates including ex-49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. Adofo-Mensah overlapped with Ryans for three years, so it’s possible that he’ll have a leg up on the competition.

Outside of Adofo-Mensah and Poles, the Vikings also considered:

Bears Request Second GM Interview With Ryan Poles

Ryan Poles is getting a second interview in Chicago. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Chiefs’ executive director of player personnel has been asked to interview a second time for the Bears GM job.

Poles is already a finalist for the Vikings GM job. He will meet with the Bears on Tuesday and the Vikings on Wednesday, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). The other finalist for the Minnesota job, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, will meet with the organization again on Tuesday (per Albert Breer on Twitter).

Poles has spent much of his career with the Chiefs, working his way up from director of college scouting to executive director of player personnel, where he works alongside GM Brett Veach and assistant GM Mike Borgonzi.

Last offseason, the Chiefs executive was considered for the Panthers GM job. Besides interest from the Vikings and Bears, Poles was also a finalist for the Giants GM gig (a job that ultimately went to Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen).

Vikings Request Second GM Interviews With Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Ryan Poles

The Vikings are moving toward a GM decision. They have identified Browns vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles as finalists.

While another finalist may emerge, Minnesota has thus far only requested second interviews with these two candidates, Tom Pelissero of tweets. Adofo-Mensah is expected to interview Tuesday, with Adam Schefter of tweeting Poles’ second Vikings meeting is likely to take place Wednesday.

Should Poles take the interview, it would be his second run as a GM finalist during this cycle. The Giants brought him in for a second interview, though Big Blue hired Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen earlier Friday. Just 36, Poles has interviewed with three of the four teams looking for a GM. The Bears also met with the rising exec.

Poles also took part in a second interview with the Panthers last year. On the cusp of a major rise, Poles would follow former Chiefs staffers Chris Ballard and Brett Veach were he to land a GM gig.

Adofo-Mensah joined Poles in interviewing with the Panthers last year, though he was not a finalist for that position. This marks the third-year Browns exec’s first time as a GM finalist. Before joining Cleveland’s front office in 2020 under Andrew Berry, Adofo-Mensah spent seven years with the 49ers. The Stanford grad worked in the business sector until 2013. Adofo-Mensah joined Poles in interviewing for the Bears’ GM gig as well. Chicago has not made its finalists known just yet, so Minnesota’s rival could have a say in this pursuit as well.

Here is how the Vikings’ GM search has shaped up thus far:

  • Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, vice president of football operations (Browns): Second interview requested
  • Brandon Brown, director of player personnel (Eagles): Interviewed 1/18
  • Glenn Cook, vice president of player personnel (Browns): Interviewed 1/20
  • Monti Ossenfort, director of player personnel (Titans): Interviewed 1/16
  • Ryan Poles, director of player personnel (Chiefs): Second interview requested
  • Catherine Raiche, vice president of football operations (Eagles): Interviewed 1/17
  • John Spytek, vice president of player personnel (Buccaneers): Interviewed 1/17
  • Eliot Wolf, senior consultant (Patriots): Interviewed 1/20

Bears Request To Interview Chargers’ Wooden

Do not be surprised if you start getting calls from Chicago because the Bears are searching far and wide to fill their vacant general manager position and they are interviewing EVERYBODY! The newest candidate to add to the list is Chargers’ director of player personnel, JoJo Wooden, according to a tweet from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Wooden has been with the Chargers since 2013 overseeing the pro and college scouting department for the Chargers. He got his start with the Jets in 1997 and spent 10 seasons working his way up from pro personnel assistant to the assistant director, player personnel, a position he held for six more years.

What makes Wooden an interesting candidate for the Bears’ job is the connections he has to the search committee. Bears Senior Writer Larry Mayer reported a couple days ago that Bill Polian, who has spent time as a general manager for the Bills, Panthers, and, most notably, the Colts, will be a resource to the Bears as they go through the process of hiring a new head coach and general manager. Wooden is known as a key lieutenant for the Chargers’ current general manager Tom Telesco, and Telesco worked under Polian during Polian’s entire tenure in Indianapolis.

To date, the Bears have already interviewed the Browns’ Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Glenn Cook and their own assistant director of player personnel, Champ Kelly. They’ve also requested interviews with the Colts’ Morocco Brown and Ed Dodds, the 49ers’ Ran Carthon, the Saints’ Jeff Ireland, the Steelers’ Omar Khan, the Giants’ Joe Schoen, and the Patriots’ Eliot Wolf. Texans’ former general manager Rick Smith has also been identified as a candidate.