Vikings GM Adofo-Mensah proves willing to make necessary roster changes

at the age of 32, Patrick Peterson Enjoy a renewed 2022 season with the Vikings. He spoke openly about his desire to stay with the team for the thirteenth NFL season; It seems possible in the way of free agency that the eight-time Pro Bowler could return to Minnesota in 2023.

And on Monday, after he agreed to a two-year, $14 million deal with the SteelersAnd Peterson had nothing but nice things to say About negotiations with the Vikings that ended without a contract.

“It was all clean, well-maintained, and adult-involved, just like it’s supposed to be,” Peterson said on his All Things Covered podcast. “There was no curve. It was meant to be, and I can do nothing but appreciate that.”

Peterson’s podcast made him the first left Vikings player to speak at any length about the process the team goes through from an unlikely 13-win season. To hear Peterson say that, his discussions with the Vikings were kind of personal, General Manager Kwesi Adovo-Mensah He said he wanted to be With veteran players whose time in Minnesota may come to an end. Watching how the Vikings have fared in the past two weeks, it’s clear that while sentiment may honor the farewell, it won’t put them off.

On March 6, Vikings Back release Eric Kendrickspays homage to the former All-Pro linebacker and Walter Payton Man of the Year candidate’s performance and service with a $9.5 million save on the 31-year-old linebacker who struggled with pass coverage last year.

they praised Adam ThelinAn unlikely story and a unique place in Minnesota sports history on March 10, with $13.55 million in dead money absorbed on the 32-year-old’s contract rather than deferring costs any longer.

Rather than keep Peterson on the kind of deal he received from the Steelers – which essentially amounted to a one-year contract with unsecured money for 2024 – they came to The same kind of reasonable agreement with Byron Murphy Jr.a 25-year-old former Cardinals cornerback who was mentored by Peterson W It might be more appropriate To the man-covering schemas of freshman defensive coordinator Brian Flores more than Peterson at this point in his career.

Pragmatism prevailed in discussions of the Vikings even with the veterans they had retained. They took back $6.7 million in salary cap space Restructured deal with Harrison Smith, while betting on the 34-year-old safety would be a better fit in Flores’ scheme than when former coordinator Ed Donatell sanded most of the versatility out of the role he had under Mike Zimmer. They’ve guaranteed inside linebacker Jordan Hicks’ starting salary for the year while lowering the 30-year-old’s cap figure by $1.5 million. Instead of finalizing a long-term extension with a quarterback Kirk Cousinsthey He added two more years of vacancy to his deal To get comfortable at the max while retaining flexibility Adofo-Mensah said they wanted in the QB position.

“She will always be solution-oriented,” Adofu-Mensah said on Feb. 23. 28. “Can we find a way to work together on our time horizon? If not, we might not be together, but I hope in three or four years we can laugh and enjoy these moments we had together, appreciate them and just know that sometimes Business comes in and there are different solutions that have to happen.”

The Vikings approach in Adofo-Mensah’s second season contrasts with the approach they used during Rick Spielman’s final years, when the Vikings kept linebackers like Anthony Parr and narrow ends like Kyle Rudolph in maximum numbers while trying to win the seniors list. The former system, for its old-school virtues, seemed reluctant to break with players at times. If Adofo-Mensah and coach Kevin O’Connell’s focus on culture and player empowerment calls for the narrative that two are overly hospitable, the results show they weren’t afraid to make tough decisions about coaches (Like Donatelle) or players quickly.

“It’s going to be draining,” Adofu-Mensah said at the gathering. “It’s going to be tough.” “It’s why we get paid what we get, because I’m not always going to be the most likable person in the room. That’s just kind of the job. I love being likable, though, so please don’t let that go wrong. These are tough decisions, Great people, great human beings. We’re having these conversations right now and we’ll see what we come up with.”

The Vikings’ biggest quarterback decision is still to come, however, after they chose the void years in Cousins’ deal over the long-term collateral he wanted. The 34-year-old is now set to be a free agent after the season. It’s possible that the Vikings and Cousins ​​could reconnect with a new deal at that point, especially if Cousins ​​finds the team the best option after gauging interest from around the league.

Adofo-Mensah said at the combine that he does not want to force the quarterback to serve as a starter. If the Vikings wait until 2024 to draft a passer and don’t bring Cousins ​​back next season, they can choose the veteran bridge start while their next QB prepares. They will have cousins ​​for 2023; If Minnesota’s sixth season as a perennial starter is his last, the Vikings will, at least briefly, return to a period of position uncertainty. For now, they seem willing to take a risk, rather than strike a deal that could have delivered guaranteed cash through 2025 as Derek Carr’s contract did with the Saints.

Risk assessment was part of Adofo-Mensah’s job on Wall Street. It’s an essential part of his work with the Vikings. But after a week that brought so much change to Minnesota, it’s clear that while GM wants to handle it thoughtfully, it’s not trying to avoid it.

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