The Vikings Trade Trends Among Kwesi and Friends

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.

Last week, I published a Kwesi trade tracker on PurplePTSD. The goal was simply to collate information from a few different spots and then offer a bullet point list of the moves and their results (when known).

At this point, it’s worth moving into a discussion of the Vikings trade trends.

Patterns emerge when taking a few moments to consider all of the wheeling and dealing. Discerning these trends and tendencies allows for us to extract significance and insight that help us to see what’s going on in Minnesota with greater clarity.

Take a look at just three that jump off the page after spending a few minutes looking at the trades.

The Vikings Trade Trends

Hello, Controversy, My Old Friend.

Kicking off the trading is a whopper of a move back with the Lions. I’m among those who still think Minnesota lost the deal. Dropping twenty spots in the opening round without getting a future first simply isn’t worth it.

As an encore, Adofo-Mensah pulled off another divisional trade, though he did pivot toward Wisconsin to do so. What’s wild is that he even went back to Detroit, prying away T.J. Hockenson before the NFL trade deadline during the 2022 season.

The State of the Vikings: Week 9
Oct 30, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson. Mandatory Credit: Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports.

A wild opening pair of trades from the analytics GM firmly proved he wouldn’t be shy about following through on his convictions. Outside opinion doesn’t matter: if the GM thinks he’s getting good value, he’ll pull the trigger.

A future draft trade with Chicago will complete the NFC North bingo card for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

Scattered Dance Partners, Most of Them Being in the AFC.

Minnesota’s dance partners so far:

  • Detroit (x2)
  • Green Bay
  • Indianapolis (x2)
  • Las Vegas (x3)
  • Cleveland (x2)
  • Houston
  • Pittsburgh
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco
  • Kansas City

Adofo-Mensah has done business with his former employers, pulling off deals with both Cleveland and San Francisco. The most recent deal involved sending Za’Darius Smith to the Browns.

Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Dion Dawkins (73) looks to block Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

He’s not against doing work inside the NFC North and the conference more broadly, but he has leaned toward the AFC. Of the fifteen moves, a total of ten have been with AFC teams. Perhaps that’s a coincidence, but it’s something to monitor as more time unfolds. The score is 10-5 for the AFC.*

Moving Up and Down but Mostly Down

A pair of NFL drafts for the GM and a total of nine draft trades.

He began life as the Vikings general manager by pulling off a half dozen trades in the 2022 NFL Draft. During the 2023 NFL Draft, Adofo-Mensah showed more restraint, cutting his total in half as he dipped down to just a trio of trades. Surprisingly, he stayed put at #23, opting for WR Jordan Addison instead of the trade option that was present.

Pair of Vikings Draft Picks
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison on stage after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings twenty third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Six of the nine draft trades have been to move down to stockpile more selections. The exceptions have come from the moves to get CB Andrew Booth Jr., CB Akayleb Evans, and DT Jaquelin Roy. Clearly, Adofo-Mensah feels comfortable cashing in some draft picks if it means being able to acquire someone whom he thinks is capable of nudging the defense closer to respectability.

Take a look at the trade tracker to get a better understanding of what Minnesota has done. See any trends that I didn’t discuss? Let me know over on Twitter @VikingsGazette.

* My thanks to a social media post that very helpfully reminded me about the trade involving Nick Mullens.