A Hint that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah May Still Have Another Trick Up His Sleeve

Vikings Had the Worst Draft
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

Is Kwesi Adofo-Mensah done making major waves when it comes to adding talent?

The 2024 NFL Draft is now less than a month away. The reigning theory is that Adofo-Mensah is going to package picks No. 11 and No. 23 to jump up the board (maybe with some help from a future 1st). And while the focus on that possibility is reasonable, there’s another basic fact that’s pointing toward a different opportunity: the Vikings have enough cap space to add more established talent.

A Hint that Kwesi May Not be Done Yet

Even with the staggering amount of dead money — $57,365,208, pet OTC, but who’s counting? — the Vikings are sitting in a pretty good spot for adding talent.

Right now, Minnesota is projected to have roughly $16.8 million in cap space. The open room in the budget leaves the Vikings somewhere around the middle of the NFL. But after considering how active they were in free agency alongside the aforementioned dead cap hurdle, the short-term financial flexibility is notable.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Minnesota
Oct 7, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on from the sidelines before the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Michigan Wolverines at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

One wonders, then, if Kwesi has another trick up his sleeve.

Recently, the L’Jarius Sneed option closed since Tennessee snagged the talented corner. Many onlookers felt that the KC corner could have fit the Brian Flores defense due to the defender’s ability to play in the slot and along the boundary. Plus, he’s a capable blitzer.

Dec 25, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (38) is introduced against the Las Vegas Raiders prior to a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

But, to be sure, Sneed isn’t the only fish in the NFL’s trading sea. And while adding a star player means cap space dwindles in a hurry, we shouldn’t forget that the Vikings are sitting on several cap saving possibilities.

More specifically, there’s the option to arrive at extensions for Justin Jefferson, Camryn Bynum, Byron Murphy, and/or Harrison Phillips. And if things got really snug, Adofo-Mensah could always get creative with restructures, shifting money around to the future to help finance what’s happening in the present.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Most of the league’s top free agents have signed, but there is still talent out there (with Dalton Risner being the most obvious example). The depleted defensive line could use some more help and so, too, could the receiver position stand to have another boost.

The point isn’t that a major deal is imminent. Rather, it’s simply to note that Minnesota’s GM has left his team with the freedom to keep adding if that’s the desired route.

So as March fades away, the Vikings find themselves in a pretty good spot financially. That basic reality leaves the possibility open to make a notable signing or to pull off another trade.

Editor’s Note: Information from Over the Cap helped with this piece.

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.