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Browns executive Kwesi Adofo-Mensah emerges as leading candidate for Vikings GM job

Adofo-Mensah, who received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton and a master’s in economics from Stanford, has a strong background in analytics

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Undated courtesy photo of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, the Cleveland Browns Vice President for Football Operations.
Cleveland Browns photo
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EAGAN, Minnesota — Cleveland Browns vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has emerged as the leading candidate to be the Minnesota Vikings’ new general manager.

Adofo-Mensah, who is in Minnesota on Tuesday for a second interview with the Vikings, and Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles were the Vikings’ two finalists to replace Rick Spielman. However, Poles, who was scheduled Wednesday to have a second in interview in Minnesota, accepted Chicago’s general manager job on Tuesday.

Spielman was fired on Jan. 10 by Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf after 16 years with the team, the past 10 as general manager. The Vikings also fired head coach Mike Zimmer that day.

The Vikings conducted had virtual interviews with eight candidates for general manager between Jan. 16-20. Adofo-Mensah, 40, had his first interview on Jan. 17 and was informed last Friday that he was one of two finalists.

Adofo-Mensah, who received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton and a master’s in economics from Stanford, has a strong background in analytics. He got his start as a day trader on Wall Street before serving as manager of football research and development with the San Francisco 49ers from 2013-16 and director of football research and development with the 49ers from 2017-19. He has been with the Browns since 2020.


Mark Wilf has said the Vikings will look to hire a general manager before a head coach, and the general manager will have input on a coach. The Vikings have had virtual interviews so far with eight candidates for coach.

Among the eight, two were assistants with San Francisco when Adofo-Mensah was there. DeMeco Ryans, in his first year as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator, was a quality control coach in 2017 and inside linebackers coach from 2018-19 during Adofo-Mensah’s tenure. And Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell was a 49ers special projects assistant in 2016.

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