Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Vows to Forget Fear and Confront the Irrational as Draft Inches Closer

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
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Think the trade cost for a QB could become irrational? If so, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah may be in your corner.

On Thursday, Minnesota’s GM spoke with the media for a bit less than twenty minutes. A variety of topics came up as Adofo-Mensah discussed the 2024 NFL Draft. The idea of bringing in a quarterback was a consistent focus, leading to some notable moments of the reflection from the young executive.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Won’t be Stopped by Fear and Will Wrestle with Irrationality

Look around the internet for trade price projections. Climbing from No. 11 and into the very top isn’t going to come cheap.

In fact, former Vikings GM Rick Spielman recently tossed his opinion into the mix. Spielman thinks that the cost could go as high as No. 11, No. 23, the 2025 1st, and then more. All of that for, potentially, the draft’s fourth passer.

NFL: International Series-NFL UK Live
Oct 28, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman (left) and owner Mark Wilf react at NFL UK Live at the Landmark Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The current Vikings GM may not have the same perspective. Or, at least, he doesn’t seem to agree that the Vikings are compelled to pay the gigantic price.

Adofo-Mensah explained that leverage in a negotiation is contingent on the willingness to do something different. Put differently, the ability to say “no” to a trade demand while pivoting toward a different strategy.

“I do think you’re supposed to price in a little bit of irrationality,” Adofo-Mensah clarifies, “but then really it’s always about walk-away prices […] Your leverage in a negotiation is your willingness to do something else. So I gotta say, ‘I will not do this because I would rather do these three other things and make our team better.’ It’s gotta mean something.”

Vikings Get a Decent Grade
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

In other words, Adofo-Mensah won’t be held hostage.

Sure, some irrationality is to be expected, but there’s a limit. The Vikings’ GM will have a clear idea in his mind of how pricey is too pricey much in the same way that he did for Kirk Cousins in free agency. If things soar too high, then it’s time to pivot toward Options B, C, and D.

Earlier in the presser, Adofo-Mensah notes that risk alone can’t force the team to back off: “Just because something’s risky, doesn’t mean you’re scared of it.” He goes on to acknowledge that “it’s uncertain” while still understanding that “we got to take our swing” and “that doesn’t give us any pause.”

Keeping up with those thoughts? Making an aggressive trade up is an inherently risky move. Failing to pick the right passer will result in the franchise losing a pile of picks for next to no benefit. And yet even with that understanding, Adofo-Mensah believes that the possibility can’t immobilize Minnesota.

The broader idea, then, is that Adofo-Mensah will pivot away from a price that reaches the point of full absurdity. He refuses to be backed into a corner. What won’t cause him to pivot is being scared about the worst case scenario potentially arriving. The man is confident in the work his staff has done leading into the draft and so, too, is he confident in the coaching staff.

Syndication: The Tennessean
Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon chats with Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah during practice in Eagan, Minn., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023.

No matter what, the QB uncertainty is going to get an answer from April 25th to 27th. Even if there isn’t an addition – as unlikely as that is – we’ll all learn more since the implication would be that Sam Darnold is locked and loaded.

But if the Vikings believe that a QB is going to become a franchise quarterback and the trade price isn’t so outrageous as to completely drain the cupboards, then Minnesota is going to make their move. Doing so will bring a different form of clarity.

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place in Detroit, Michigan. The opening night of the event is less than two weeks away.

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.