The Worst Trade of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s Career? That’s Still a Debate

in 2023 Offseason
Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

What happens when you combine a GM who loves to trade with a team that begins by losing the initial three games? Well, a few trade rumors ignite.

For the most part, those rumors hover around Mr. Kirk Cousins, someone who is no stranger to having his name included in speculative pieces on the internet. What’s more intriguing, though, is what Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has actually done. Sitting at 17 deals, Adofo-Mensah already has a pretty lengthy history of swaps. Most seem to believe that onboarding T.J. Hockenson was the best move, but does Adofo-Mensah have a worst trade?

Can We Determine Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s Worst Trade?

No debate: the deals for WR/PR Jalen Reagor and DT Ross Blacklock didn’t work out. In 2022, the highly-picked players struggled to get onto the field for Minnesota. The team then decided to cut both players as the 2023 season arrived.

Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo‐Mensah during the NFL combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What’s worth keeping in mind, though, is the cost of acquisition. Yes, losing late-round picks is far from ideal, and yet the basic reality is that late-round selections often flop. Minnesota could have kept the picks used in the Reagor and Blacklock deals and still whiffed. Or, put differently, an individual late-round pick is an asset that’s inherently risky. More often than not, a true difference maker doesn’t arrive from the pick slot.

The point, folks, is simply that there’s no guarantee that not making the deals would have significantly improved the Vikings. The GM understood that the picks he could have kept were lottery tickets, items he could cash in for a small chance at acquiring a fortune. Instead, he opted to ship out the picks in favor of players with large upside. Neither trade worked out, but there’s merit in the GM’s approach.

Veteran Viking
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Reagor. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

What’s more concerning is the deal he pulled off during his initial draft as the GM. And, no, we’re not circling back around to the very discouraging Lewis Cine trade. Plenty has been said about that move, but that’s not the one that’s most concerning.

Instead, let’s kick things back a bit to the defensive back selected in RD2 of the 2022 NFL Draft: Andrew Booth Jr.

So far, the gifted corner has failed to see any playing time for the Brian Flores defense. The team has relied exclusively on Byron Murphy, Akayleb Evans, and Mekhi Blackmon to get the job done at CB. When those options aren’t in the game, Flores has shifted toward a large portion of safety help, most prominently in the play from Harrison Smith, Camryn Bynum, and Josh Metellus (though Theo Jackson has been sprinkled in).

Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Camryn Bynum (24) reacts after the game against the New York Jets at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Only 23, Booth has a shot at becoming an impact corner in the NFL. No one is doubting his talent. After all, there’s a reason why so many draft nerds and analysts projected him as a borderline opening-round selection. Were it not for some persistent injury troubles, Booth may have heard his name called among the opening 32 players.

Seeing an opportunity at 42nd overall, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah decided to trade up for Booth. Take a look at what was exchanged and then what occurred with those selections:


  • Pick #53 — WR Alec Pierce
  • Pick #77 — OT Bernhard Raimann
  • Pick #192 — TE Andrew Ogletree


  • Pick #42 — CB Andrew Booth Jr.
  • Pick #122 — Traded

Right now, the Colts are leaning on their three selections from the Booth trade to help turn their team around. They’re exceeding expectations at 2-2, largely due to the 24.3 points-per-game average on offense. Pierce has been involved in 262 snaps (95%), Raimann for 213 snaps (100% in the three games he has played), and Ogletree for 71 snaps (32% in the three games he has played).

So, that’s three vital players for the rebuilding Colts. In the ten total games played, there have been nine starts for those players. On PFF, Raimann is the 11th-best OT and Ogletree the 2nd-best TE, though Pierce is down at 90th for receivers.

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Keelan Cole (84) is defended by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Booth has been exclusively a special teams contributor. The sophomore corner has no playing time for Brian Flores and 39 snaps for Matt Daniels.

The hope in Eagan — and, more broadly, Minnesota as a whole — is that the youthful DB can overcome his career’s early adversity. One wonders, though, if there’s some regret about how things have gone after a full 2022 and partial 2023. Indianapolis has a trio of offensive building blocks while Minnesota is working with someone who can’t break into the defense, even in a limited capacity.

Pulling off trades isn’t for the faint of heart. GM hindsight is undefeated in the decision-making process; the other GMs need to work through their own failings, foibles, and fallibility. So, to be sure, there’s no reason to write off Adofo-Mensah or call for a trading embargo.

Instead, the decision to swing back around to the discouraging Booth deal simply reveals how consequential the 2022 NFL Draft was/is for the Minnesota Vikings. The Colts are currently getting a major boost while the Vikings aren’t, realities that partially explain each team’s success (or lack thereof).

The NFL’s trade deadline arrives on Halloween.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and PFF helped with this piece. Read more about Minnesota’s full trade history and draft picks in The Kwesi Trade Tracker & Every Kwesi Draft Pick.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.