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With Bears Hiring Ryan Poles, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Expected to Be Vikings' Next GM

The Browns' VP of football operations is likely the Minnesota Vikings' next general manager.

The dominos have fallen.

It came down to the Bears and Vikings for GM candidate Ryan Poles of the Chiefs, and the Bears got it done. Chicago didn't let Poles leave for his second interview in Minnesota on Wednesday, instead finalizing a deal to hire him as their next general manager after their second interview on Tuesday.

So, by process of elimination, that leaves one finalist for the Vikings' job: Browns VP of football operation Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. As it so happens, he's in Minnesota right now for his second interview with the Vikings, and the team is expected to move quickly to hire him.

This could be viewed as the Vikings losing a battle to the Bears. Or — and maybe this is just quick PR from the team, who knows — perhaps Adofo-Mensah was the candidate the Vikings wanted all along, contrary to previous reports.

Barring something highly unexpected, Adofo-Mensah is the Vikings' next GM. And that means taking a bold, slightly more unconventional step into the future.

Poles is a home run hire for the Bears, just as he would've been for the Vikings. By all accounts, he's an extremely smart guy with great leadership skills and a strong track record in personnel and scouting with the Chiefs. He's a former player who rose through the scouting ranks to land this gig at just 36 years old.

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But what's fascinating about the Vikings hiring Adofo-Mensah is that it means going in a different direction with the leadership of their front office. The 40-year-old does not have your typical background. He earned economics degrees from Princeton and Stanford and began his career working on Wall Street as a commodities trader and portfolio manager. Adofo-Mensah then entered the NFL, spending seven seasons in research and development with the 49ers (2013-19). He was hired to his current role by Browns GM Andrew Berry in 2020.

Adofo-Mensah is essentially an assistant GM for Berry. He oversees scouts, evaluators, and the analytics team to help Berry make evidence-based decisions on personnel moves. He also has experience on the contracts side of things. Adofo-Mensah's background is in analytics, processes, and using quantitative data to gather as much information as possible while making decisions.

Welcome to the Minnesota Moneyball era, if you will.

Expect a deal with Adofo-Mensah to be finalized by this evening, assuming the Vikings don't want him to leave the building without one.

Adofo-Mensah also interviewed with the Bears during this cycle, and Poles was a finalist with the Vikings. It'll be fascinating to see how things play out between the two NFC North rivals in the coming years, and to look back on these two hires at some point down the line and see which team got the better end.

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