Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Jokes About Now Infamous Catchphrase

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.

Any chance the general manager regrets framing his approach as a “competitive rebuild”?

He spoke with Vikings.com’s Tatum Everett last week. She asks about why the 2024 offseason was being looked at as a critical turning point for the Vikings. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s response: “Yeah, just looking at the roster, the players on it, just their experience. Just from a salary cap standpoint, where we were projecting ourselves to be if we wanted to compete and rebuild at the same time. I won’t use those two words together again.”

He delivered the words with a grin, so don’t miss the quick joke. Adofo-Mensah knows that his competitive rebuild has taken on a life of its own.

And within that discussion is the executive’s belief (hope?) that his team is turning the corner in 2024, something that has been relatively easy to foresee. Guys like Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter had their contracts expire while Justin Jefferson is stepping into the final season of his rookie contract. The current season always looked like a major one, so we’re seeing the fulfillment of a slow-moving transition for the franchise.

Adofo-Mensah Jokes While Still Pointing Toward Next Step for Vikings

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah thinks that Minnesota has reached a pivot point. Or, to use his word, a “watershed offseason.” 

“I set a tall goal for the team this offseason,” Adofo-Mensah explains. He goes on to describe how he demanded much from his staff since “it was a big, kind of watershed offseason for us and that was always in the plan since 2022.”

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

“We knew that this was going to be kind of a turning point for us,” the GM goes on to clarify.

No doubt, the offseason has been one of major change. Out are Cousins and Hunter; in are J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner. Those twin swaps alone make things look very different in Minnesota, but it doesn’t stop there.

Jonathan Greenard is a major addition and so, too, are the other marquee FA defenders – Andrew Van Ginkel, Blake Cashman, Shaq Griffin – pointing toward a new era of Vikings football. Thankfully, Brian Flores is still around to lead the charge on that side of the football, meaning Minnesota is working with one of the most impressive defensive minds in the sport.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores watches his team play against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

But then we can’t overlook the significance of Sam Darnold, as well. He’s being given the opportunity to turn his career around, broadcasting to the entire NFL that he can be a QB1. If he succeeds, it’s possible he could stick around, but his primary job is to hold down the fort as the future franchise QB – McCarthy – gains valuable reps, coaching, and experience.

Within any rebuild – whether a traditional teardown or a “competitive” one – a team needs players to outperform expectations. If someone like Walter Rouse can turn into an excellent starter, then the Vikings get a major boost. So, too, could Will Reichard put a gust of wind into Minnesota’s sails.

Nov 11, 2023; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide place kicker Will Reichard (16) celebrates with Alabama Crimson Tide running back Jam Miller (26) during the first quarter against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Just think back to Minnesota’s 2015 Draft for an example of how a draft class can really push things forward. The top pick, corner Trae Waynes, was a solid player. The excellence from Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, and Stefon Diggs — all brought in after RD1 — are what made the draft class such a success.

But while the “competitive rebuild” mantra may need to be retired as the Vikings move into a competitive era, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah understands that “team building is eternal” (to use his words). The man is going to continue hustling in an effort to push the Vikings higher.

If the team can live up to Adofo-Mensah’s lofty standards, then the 2024 season will mark the beginning of Minnesota’s return to making noise in the NFC playoffs.


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.

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