Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Not Sold on 3-Time All-Pro’s Return to Vikings

Patrick Peterson

Getty Patrick Peterson #7 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during pregame warm-ups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has maintained a meticulous decision-making process this offseason.

After a series of safe moves: extending Kirk Cousins and restructuring Harrison Smith and Adam Thielen‘s contracts, Adofo-Mensah was subject to sticking too much to the status quo in Minnesota.

But the Vikings general manager put his signature on the first signing that shows the intent to push Minnesota in a new direction by introducing new faces to complement the core Rick Spielman built.

Minnesota agreed to a three-year, $42 million deal with former Green Bay Packers edge rusher and two-time Pro Bowler Za’Darius Smith on March 22. Danielle Hunter restructured his contract to make room for Smith on the team’s books, creating one of the most formidable pass-rush duos in the NFL.

And after budgetary signings of defensive tackle Harrison Phillips and linebacker Jordan Hicks, the Vikings’ front seven is looking like one of the league’s best units on paper.

However, the back four need some work — and Minnesota’s coffers are depleted, with under $1 million of available cap space as of Wednesday, March 23, per Sportrac.

Veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson has maintained his pleas to return to Minnesota after his one-year, $8 million contract expired this year.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah recently addresses Peterson’s future with the Vikings after the organization has exhausted most of its cap-creating maneuvers two weeks into free agency.

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Peterson & KAM in Contact

VideoVideo related to kwesi adofo-mensah not sold on 3-time all-pro’s return to vikings2022-03-23T17:45:01-04:00

On The All Things Covered podcast, Peterson doubled down on his desire to return to the Vikings with the prospect of playing with Smith and Hunter, saying, “How crazy would that be?”

In a Wednesday press conference, Adofo-Mensah revealed that he’s remained in contact with Peterson throughout free agency.

“He texted me the other day,” Adofo-Mensah said. “Pat Pete’s a great person, a great player in this league for a long time. … You want to make sure you respect a player of his caliber, his expertise in this league, but also the reality of the situation we’re in from a salary-cap standpoint. Again, those conversations are ongoing, and we’re trying to work through those problems.”

Adofo-Mensah added that the team will “keep exploring options” in free agency, and when asked if they’ll search for help at cornerback, he made a statement that they will not overpay at the position.

“If the value meets the player, we’ll strike. If it doesn’t, we won’t,” he said.

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Vikings Not Looking to Overpay for Peterson

Pro Football Focus graded Peterson 63rd out of 129 NFL cornerbacks that played a minimum of 20 percent of snap while being the 14th highest-paid player at his position, according to OverTheCap.

While Peterson’s performance was a symptom of the Vikings’ defensive struggles, Minnesota appears unwilling to break the bank for the eight-time Pro Bowler who hasn’t played to his former glory in the past three seasons. OverTheCap valued Peterson a $6.45 million for the 2022 season.

Peterson revealed that he’s fielded interest from other teams, but would like to return to the Vikings. Whether that happens comes down to if the two sides can come to a price they can agree upon.

“I stand where I stood in December,” Peterson said. “I loved everything about Minnesota. At the end of the day, the ball’s in their court now if they want me back. I’m a free agent right now, and I have a couple teams that say that they’re interested, so we’ll see what happens in the next couple days.”

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