Minnesota Vikings Front Office is on the Hot Seat?

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings
Credit: Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell are entering their third year together, leading the organization. Both guys originally signed four-year deals that run through 2025-26, making them due for a contract extensions… like ASAP.

However, a new report suggests that if the Vikings’ 2024 season doesn’t turn out to be “productive”, specifically regarding the their two first round draft picks, then not only will those in the front office not receive extensions… but they won’t be allowed to finish out the contracts they’re currently on.

It’s a big season for the Minnesota Vikings front office

In his latest column, Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press didn’t specifically put general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah on the hot seat, but writes that the Vikings’ movement pre-draft screams of a front office that is worried about the likelihood of a contract extension. Apparently, there is good reason, too.

Walters finishes his report on the Vikings front office future noting that, should this season turn out “productive” for their two first round draft picks, extensions will be on the way. But if unproductive, “major front office changes would be expected in 2025”

In order to move up from No. 23 to No. 17 in the first round of April’s draft to take pass rusher Dallas Turner, and to move up from No. 11 to No. 10 to take QB J.J. McCarthy, the Vikings had to trade Nos. 11, 23, 129, 157 and 167 picks this year, plus third- and fourth-round picks in 2025. Clearly, the team’s front office feels urgency for contract extensions next year.

If McCarthy and Turner turn out to be productive, it would mean extensions. If not, major front office changes would be expected in 2025.

Charley Walters – Pioneer Press

When you break down the trades Kwesi made to secure JJ McCarthy and Dallas Turner, it does reek a bit of desperation. So, the pressure now falls on the Vikings coaching staff to make sure McCarthy and Turner to deliver “productive” seasons.

Asking for a friend (named Kwesi Adofo-Mensah) — What exactly does “productive” mean, when evaluating JJ McCarthy and Dallas Turner?

But WTF does “productive” mean? Especially in light of all the recent reports suggesting McCarthy might not see game time at all this season, if Sam Darnold plays well. Obviously, that isn’t statistical production, right? Surely, it isn’t about wins and losses…

Does that mean ownership just wants to see JJ McCarthy deliver a strong season behind the scenes? If so, it’s impossible for us on the outside to know what type of production they’d be looking for, or if he is producing whatever growth Kevin O’Connell is looking for.

Related: Will Jerry Tillery be the Savior for the Vikings’ Interior Pass Rush this Season?

It’s certainly plausible McCarthy ends up taking real snaps, too. If he performs well, I’d imagine that would mean contract extension for Kwesi. If not, though, are you firing your GM after one season of watching a 21-year-old QB who is far from reaching his potential?

Many uncertainties remain, including McCarthy’s first training camp with the Vikings. Hopefully, as they head into preseason and the regular season, the team will have clearer insights into McCarthy’s role this season, and even the future.

Meanwhile, Dallas Turner looks like he will get plenty of opportunity to show the world why Kwesi ignored the analytical draft models and traded up to get his guy. With Andrew Van Ginkel possibly starting the season injured, Turner could be forced into a key role for Brian Flores’ defense, even sooner than expected.

Related: Report: Minnesota Vikings Plan to Sign Familiar Running Back

But again, that “productive” word comes into question again. Are we counting sacks for Turner? Or could a strong PFF grade by season’s end be enough? At the end of the day, production is relative, especially when it comes to how NFL rookies perform.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has underscored the importance of wins and losses in evaluating his and O’Connell’s performance. As the Vikings strategize for success and pursue a championship, this season looms large.

We’ll see how vibes are flowing throughout the season, because it’s clear the Wilfs aren’t sure what they will do with Kwesi, after this season. Kevin O’Connell, on the other hand, well there is a reason why the coaching staff is not mentioned in Charley’s column.

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