MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as their general manager, according to a person with knowledge of the process, taking an innovative turn by bringing in an analytics expert from Cleveland’s front office who once worked on Wall Street.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Wednesday because the Vikings had not yet announced the decision.
Adofo-Mensah, the vice president of football operations for the Browns for the last two years, was one of two finalists the Vikings identified from an initial pool of eight candidates.
The other was Kansas City executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles, who was hired as general manager of the Bears on Tuesday before he made it to Minnesota for his scheduled visit. Adofo-Mensah was at Vikings headquarters on Tuesday for his second formal interview. With Poles and Adofo-Mensah, who are both Black, filling vacancies this cycle there are now seven minority general managers in the NFL.
The 40-year-old Adofo-Mensah — who also interviewed for the Bears GM position — has an economics degrees from Princeton, where he was a walk-on basketball player, and Stanford. He is a native of New Jersey, just like Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf. Adofo-Mensah was a commodities trader and portfolio manager early in his career before entering the NFL in 2013 with San Francisco in research and development. After seven seasons with the 49ers, Adofo-Mensah was hired by the Browns in 2020.
Adofo-Mensah assisted general manager Andrew Berry on all aspects of team operations as the Browns transformed their front office and brought some badly needed stability to the franchise.
The Browns will receive draft-pick compensation for losing Adofo-Mensah.
The Vikings, who fired Rick Spielman on Jan. 10 after 16 seasons with the organization and 10 years with full authority over the roster as general manager, went 8-9 in 2021. They missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
Adofo-Mensah’s background couldn’t be more different from Spielman, the son of a high school coach who played in college and watched his younger brother become a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker in the NFL. The 59-year-old Spielman worked his way up as a scout for Detroit before landing management positions with Chicago and Miami. He was a meticulous evaluator who frequently stood off by himself while the Vikings practiced, carefully watching every drill and play.
The six others who had video interviews this month with the Vikings were Philadelphia director of player personnel Brandon Brown, Cleveland vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook, Tennessee director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort, Philadelphia vice president of football operations Catherine Raîche, Tampa Bay vice president of player personnel John Spytek and New England scouting consultant Eliot Wolf.