Vikings GM Addresses NFL’s Free Agency Tampering Investigation

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

Getty General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings.

Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins may have had a Freudian slip during his introductory press conference with his new team, the Atlanta Falcons.

Cousins began one of his answers by saying “meeting” before changing his phrasing to “calling” Falcons head athletic trainer and head of public relations. Semantics aside, the contact would be impermissible even in the early negotiating window.

Teams can only contact player representation during the legal tampering period, per league rules.

The league would seem to agree that there is at least a possibility, as they are investigating the matter. General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was asked for his thoughts on the situation.

He said he had not been contacted by the league regarding the investigation.

“I’ll be honest, that’s kind of above our fray there,” Adofo-Mensah told reporters during the introductory press conference for the Vikings’ free agent additions. “I’ve just been busy trying to work on the roster, preparing to talk to [the media]. Yeah, I’m not aware of any of that stuff.”

A spokesperson for the NFL insists it is business as usual. The Philadelphia Eagles are also under investigation.

“The NFL is launching investigations into the Falcons and Eagles for their respective pursuits of Kirk Cousins and Saquon Barkley,” Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported on X, formerly Twitter, on March 14. “NFL spokesman: “League is looking into the matters, which is standard.

“So Pandora’s box swings open again.”


Penn State head coach James Franklin accused Eagles personnel of having direct contact with running back Saquon Barkley.

The Falcons employ four people under the player “performance” umbrella, none of whom hold the title Cousins said. Director of Player Performance John Griffin and Director of Performance Science Josh Nelson best fit that description.

Vikings Offered Kirk Cousins Multi-Year Deal, Guarantees in Year 2 Ahead of Free Agency

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

GettyKirk Cousins of the Atlanta Falcons.

Cousins suggested the Vikings weren’t willing to commit to him long-term during the negotiating process before he hit free agency. He said the Falcons’ willingness to do so played a significant part in his decision.

“In Minnesota, it was trending over the last couple offseasons to be in somewhat year-to-year,” Cousins told reporters on March 13. “As we talked with Atlanta, it felt like this was a place where if I play at the level I expect to play, that I can retire a Falcon.

“That was something that really excited me, and that’s certainly the goal.”

Russini reported a slightly different version that points to the $100 million in guarantees Cousins was able to secure from Atlanta. The deal includes $90 million due at signing.

“The Vikings made Kirk Cousins an offer for more than one year that included guaranteed money in year two, sources tell @alec_lewis and me,” The Athletic’s Dianna Russini reported in a follow-up post. “Ultimately, the Falcons’ offer exceeded how far Minnesota was willing to go. The team is now focused on maximizing a flexible future.”

Cousins’ deal with the Falcons, of course, runs four seasons.

Vikings Carrying Over $50 Million in Dead Cap Space

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

GettyGeneral manager Kwesi Adolfo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings.

He also leaves the Vikings with a $28.5 million dead cap hit this season. Combined with Danielle Hunter and Marcus Davenport, the Vikings will pay $50.2 million in dead money for three players on other teams in 2024.

Dean Lowry and Alexander Mattison add another $3.6 million to their bill. Dalvin Cook will count for $3 million by himself.

Cook did not take a snap for the Vikings in 2023 after his release in July.