Yesterday, we passed along the news that the Minnesota Vikings had concluded their initial round of interviews with all of the candidates they wanted to speak with for their open General Manager position. Now, it appears that two favorites have emerged for the job, and they will both be receiving in-person interviews next week.
Numerous reports have surfaced that both Kansas City Chiefs Executive Director of Player Personnel Ryan Poles and Cleveland Browns Vice President of Football Operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah are the two finalists for the position that was opened when Rick Spielman was fired on Black Monday.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Adofo-Mensah will be in Minneapolis to speak with Vikings’ brass on Tuesday, while Poles’ interview will take place on Wednesday.
Both of the final candidates are very young, with both men in their mid-30s, but they took very different paths to where they are now. Adofo-Mensah had a career as a commodities trader on Wall Street before he joined the San Francisco 49ers front office in 2013, while Poles took a more traditional route through the Chiefs’ organization, starting out as a scout and eventually making his way to his Executive Director position.
Poles was also, reportedly, one of the finalists for the New York Giants’ GM position, but that was filled today when the G-Men hired Buffalo Bills’ assistant General Manager Joe Schoen to fill that vacancy. Adofo-Mensah also interviewed for the Chicago Bears’ GM vacancy but I have not seen anything indicating that he was a finalist for that job.
Whoever the Vikings choose to lead their front office, the hire could have an immediate effect in terms of the hiring of the tenth head coach in franchise history. Poles being hired could lead to Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy at least getting an interview with the team. . .his name has not been among those the team has asked to interview as of yet. As for Adofo-Mensah, he crossed paths with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans during his time in the Bay Area. Obviously they could both be interested in other candidates as well, but those are some of the immediate connections that both of them have.
It looks like the search for Rick Spielman’s replacement is getting close to a conclusion. As more news flows down about the situation, we will bring it to you here.