Kwesi Adofo-Mensah weighing Vikings' future at quarterback position, won't 'go full Rams' as GM

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Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's first season as Vikings general manager includes quite a challenge: Turn the roster toward the future while attempting to remain competitive.

The term to describe it -- competitive rebuild -- is simple enough, but so much more complexity is involved, especially with a man with the intellect of Adofo-Mensah running the show. As he gets his feet beneath him, Adofo-Mensah has tested the limits of his roster and where it can improve, at least according to his system of evaluation and team building.

That same system has led him to believe he might not be in the best spot under center.

"I'll be frank," Adofo-Mensah told USA Today's Jori Epstein. "The one asset where you get nervous about not burning it down is quarterback."

Kirk Cousins still stands at his post in Minnesota, where he's provided quality play but hasn't led a logical thinker to wonder whether he's on the verge of reaching elite status. Adofo-Mensah acknowledged as much, leaning on his empirical methods to explain his initial worry by pointing out the obvious: Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes aren't wearing purple.

"(The Super Bowl) is more likely to win if you have that quarterback," Adofo-Mensah told Epstein. "It's very unlikely to have that quarterback."

This logic legitimately relies on a system crafted by Adofo-Mensah in previous NFL stops. It's far from conjecture.

"There is a threshold of championship talent," Adofo-Mensah said. "I study these things. I know them. And if you don't have them, you don't win. That's very binary.

"The way you can screw up in this job is deceiving yourself that you're there."

There's much more to this story than just Cousins, of course, but it's the hook that snags the attention because it is, well, the most important position in the sport -- in all of sports, in fact. It also indicates some trepidation that could blossom into a desire to separate entirely sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Cousins only has one more year left on his deal beyond 2022, and the Vikings could clear a significant portion of his cap number by trading him elsewhere. We've already reset a new standard for offseason wackiness when it comes to signal-callers, so it would certainly follow precedent.

But as of now, there aren't any clear upgrades available, and it's a little late to try to swing one. Trading for Jimmy Garoppolo would be a lateral move, if not worse.

Such moves would come next year, making it strange for a new GM to make comments about his existing starting quarterback as camp opens. Cousins will likely shake it off, but the uncertainty has to be awkward.

Then again, this is a business, and everyone is trying to improve their chances of winning a Super Bowl. Adofo-Mensah said he won't "go full Rams" with Minnesota, meaning he'll avoid "just being aggressive to be aggressive" and mortgaging the future to win in the short term.

Hopefully for Adofo-Mensah, someday he might have a ring to polish like the ones the Rams received last week. But it'll come on his terms -- and under his system, which might spell an end to the Cousins-Vikings marriage before long.

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