What was expected is now reality in Minneapolis.
The Minnesota Vikings have finalized a deal with Browns executive Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to make him their next general manager, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported. Adofo-Mensah is signing for four years and $12 million, per NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe and Ian Rapoport.
The team announced the hiring Wednesday evening.
"We are thrilled to welcome Kwesi to the Minnesota Vikings. His unique background, variety of strong football experiences, vision for success and leadership presence immediately stood out to us," Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf said in a statement through the team. "Kwesi is naturally committed and driven to building the best teams through consensus building and the pursuit of information. We believe he will immediately make us better as a team and organization."
Adofo-Mensah was one of two finalists for the opening, with Chiefs executive Ryan Poles being the other. When Poles took the GM job in Chicago, that essentially made the Vikings' decision for them.
"I am extremely thankful to the Wilf family and the Vikings organization for giving me the opportunity to lead our football operations and join this respected franchise," Adofo-Mensah said in a statement. "There is so much to appreciate about this organization - an existing nucleus of talent on the roster, top-notch facilities, passionate fans and smart people throughout the building who are committed to winning. I look forward to partnering with our next head coach and our entire football operations staff to begin our work of bringing a Super Bowl to Vikings fans."
Adofo-Mensah comes to Minnesota from Cleveland, where he's spent the last two seasons as the Browns' vice president of football operations, working under wunderkind GM Andrew Berry as part of an operation that saw the Browns to an 11-5 finish and their first playoff victory since the 1994 season in 2020. The story wasn't quite as sweet in 2021, as Cleveland finished a disappointing 8-9 while battling key injuries at multiple positions and struggling to ever get on track offensively.
Like the Harvard-educated Berry, Adofo-Mensah is also an Ivy League product, graduating from Princeton before beginning a career that started in San Francisco. Adofo-Mensah started as the 49ers' manager of football research before being promoted to director, and eventually moved east to Cleveland to join Berry's staff once the GM returned to the Browns following a one-year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Adofo-Mensah was one of seven initial candidates for the opening, with Poles (Chiefs), Brandon Brown (Eagles), Glenn Cook (Browns), Catherine Raiche (Eagles), John Spytek (Buccaneers) and Eliot Wolf (Patriots) rounding out the group. He'll take over the position manned by Rick Spielman from 2012-2021.
First up on the list of duties for Adofo-Mensah: Find a new head coach to replace Mike Zimmer, who was fired after eight seasons with the Vikings.