AP source: Vikings target GM finalists from Browns, Chiefs

Published 9:49 pm Friday, January 21, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

EAGAN  — The Minnesota Vikings have targeted two finalists for their general manager job: Cleveland vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kansas City executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles.

According to a person with knowledge of the process, speaking Friday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team was not announcing the requests, the Vikings have invited both Adofo-Mensah and Poles for a second interview.

The Vikings conducted initial meetings with Adofo-Mensah (Monday) and Poles (Tuesday) in their first round of virtual interviews with eight candidates for the opening created Jan. 10 when Rick Spielman was fired after 16 years with the organization.

Email newsletter signup

Owner and president Mark Wilf said the Vikings would seek a diverse set of candidates for the job, and both Adofo-Mensah and Poles are Black. 

The 40-year-old Adofo-Mensah has degrees from Princeton and Stanford and worked as Wall Street trader before entering the NFL in 2013 with San Francisco in research and development. After seven seasons with the 49ers, Adofo-Mensah was hired by the Browns in 2020. 

The 36-year-old Poles played offensive tackle at Boston College and is in his 13th season with the Chiefs, his first in his current role. He was a finalist last year for Carolina’s general manager vacancy and a finalist again this week with the New York Giants, who hired Buffalo assistant general manager Joe Schoen instead for their open job.

Both Adofo-Mensah and Poles have also interviewed with Chicago this month. The Bears have yet to fill their vacancy.

The Vikings also conducted a head coach interview Friday with Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, the fifth candidate they’ve met virtually in the first round of talks. 

Wilf has said the general manager hire, naturally, would come first to give that person significant input into the critical decision of picking the next head coach.