The Minnesota Vikings have not only turned the page on the 2021 season and the disappointment that took place, but they are also turning the page at head coach and general manager after cleaning house shortly after the regular season.
A day after the regular season concluded, the Vikings announced they parted ways with both head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman, cleaning house while now searching for a new regime to take over.
When it comes to the general manager position, Minnesota appears to have come down to two finalists after conducting interviews to this point in the off-season. With a decision likely to come soon, let’s look at each candidate the Vikings have reportedly targeted as finalists.
Getting To Know the Two Finalists for Minnesota Vikings General Manager
One of the two candidates the Vikings have requested a second interview with for the vacant general manager spot in Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, the current vice president of football operations for the Cleveland Browns.
Adofo-Mensah has an interesting background that has lead up to his current role with the Browns. The 40-year-old has degrees from both Princeton and Stanford, having also worked as a trader on Wall Street prior to jumping into the NFL in 2013.
In 2013, Adofo-Mensah began his front office career with the San Francisco 49ers in the research and development department, spending the next seven seasons in San Francisco. In 2020, he was hired by the Browns where he has taken on the role as vice president of football operations.
Adofo-Mensah carries a strong analytics background, which could be exactly what the Vikings ownership group is looking for in the organization’s next general manager. If that is the case, Adofo-Mensah would be the perfect candidate to take over in the front office for the Vikings.
The second candidate who has also gained interest from a few other teams for their open general manager position is Ryan Poles, the current executive director of player personnel with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Poles has been in conversations for general manager jobs the last few years, but has yet to get a shot at leading a franchise to this point. This off-season, however, it looks like he will be getting that chance either in Minnesota or elsewhere.
The 36-year-old Poles was a finalist for the Carolina Panthers general manager job last year and was a finalist for the same spot with the New York Giants this year until the Giants went in another direction. Now, he’s reportedly a finalist once again with Minnesota.
Poles has reportedly become the top choice for the Vikings to take over as general manager, but they might have to act quickly and up any offer they make with Poles also a finalist with NFC North rival Chicago Bears for their general manager position as well.
Poles has been in Kansas City for 13 years, starting his tenure with the Chiefs as a player personnel assistant before becoming a college scout and later the director of college scouting. After moving into the personnel department shortly after, he took on his current role in Kansas City this season and has played a role in bringing in players such as Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Eric Berry and others.
Minnesota’s ownership group has stated they would be looking for a general manager who has a diverse background and who could strategically lead the franchise moving forward. Both Adofo-Mensah and Poles fit that description, and both candidates could be welcomed additions to the front office as soon as 2022.
Either way, Minnesota will soon have a new, young general manager leading the way this off-season. And one of these two candidates will also have a heavy input on who ends up being hired as head coach on the sidelines.
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