Much to do for new Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, starting with hiring a coach

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Jan. 28—Andrew Berry said when he became a first-time general manager with the Cleveland Browns in 2020, it felt as if he was "drinking from a fire hose." Berry wouldn't be surprised if that's what it's like now for new Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

After two seasons under Berry as Cleveland's vice president of football operations, Adofo-Mensah was hired Wednesday by the Vikings to replace Rick Spielman as general manager. Spielman was fired Jan. 10 along with head coach Mike Zimmer.

Adofo-Mensah will have much to do in his early days on the job. Here are five important upcoming tasks:


Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf has said the new general manager will have "input" on the hiring process for a new coach, although it's not certain yet how much weight Adofo-Mensah will have in the final decision. The Vikings conducted virtual interviews with eight coaching candidates before Adofo-Mensah was hired, and they are expected to interview a ninth Saturday in New York Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.


Minnesota's quarterback is under contract in 2022 for a guaranteed $35 million with a salary-cap number of $45 million, which is 21.6 percent of the cap. The Vikings must decide whether to look to trade Cousins when the new league year starts March 16, consider extending his contract while reducing his 2022 cap number or let the final year of his deal play out.


Minnesota's two-time Pro Bowl defensive end missed all of 2020 with a neck injury and the final 10 games of 2021 with a shoulder injury. He is due an $18 million roster bonus on March 20. The Vikings must decide whether to release or attempt to trade Hunter, turn the $18 million into a signing bonus and divide it over four years or try to work out a new deal with Hunter.


The Vikings, according to cap analyst Jason Fitzgerald of, are now $14.56 million over the cap. They must get down to the cap of $208.2 million by March 16, and any move related to Cousins can't be made before that deadline. Making a move on Hunter and some other high-priced players would help alleviate cap issues.


In addition to Cousins and Hunter, the Vikings have a number of notable players who had long-term ties to Spielman and Zimmer. How many might be gone? Safety Harrison Smith has a $13.46 million cap number and is due an $8 million roster bonus March 18. Receiver Adam Thielen has a $16.94 million cap number. Linebacker Anthony Barr, Zimmer's first draft pick in 2014, becomes a free agent.