The two most discussed topics among Vikings fans are the recently completed draft and Kirk Cousins. This week both have come under fire from executives in the NFL. It’s not common for executives to openly criticize other teams or players.
George Paton Omits Cousins
Former Vikings executive George Paton spoke with Mike Florio Sunday. The conversation involved his opinion on what Russell Willson could bring to the Broncos. He elaborated:
“There’s something different,” Paton said. “I experienced that for one year, two years actually when we got [Brett] Favre in Minnesota. I remember that first practice. Really, you knew it. It elevated everyone. And it didn’t just elevate the players. It elevated the people in the building, the work ethic, and the accountability. We feel that here with Russ.”
Curiously, no mention of Kirk Cousins and his impact on the Vikings being similar. This omission leaves open the idea that Patton does not see Cousins in the same light as Brett Favre and Wilson. Obviously, this doesn’t shine a positive light on Cousins. Was it purposeful in stating Cousins isn’t a difference-maker at quarterback or was it simply absent-minded? You be the judge.
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Draws Criticism
Adofo-Mensah made a trade in the first round of the draft with the Detroit Lions that raised eyebrows among a large section of the fanbase. Now it’s coming to light that at least one NFL executive felt the trade was unbalanced and will cause a devaluation of trade downs going forward. Ane executive told The Athletic’s Mike Sando:
“I get that, in his mind, you compare and contrast the two scenarios and in his mind, he liked the other scenario better,” an exec said. “But you set a precedent for future trades. They already know you are an analytics guy, so you are probably going to want to trade down, and then with your first trade, you go pretty far from the traditional point system, so it sets the tone. Maybe our first offer will always be lower because we know it is Kwesi and he will want to trade down.”
Apparently, this executive saw Adofo-Mensah as an easy mark in the trade market and also states he thinks this could affect trade values in the future. When looking back at draft trades in the same draft the Texans received a fourth-round pick and two fifth-round picks to move down two spots.
In 2021 the Giants traded down from 11th overall to the 20th and received a 2022 first-round pick and a fifth-round pick. Also in 2021 the Vikings moved down nine spots and received two third-round picks. In 2020 the Broncos traded down 10 spots to garner a second and third-round pick. I could continue going, but there are literally dozens of first-round trades similar to the Vikings 2022 trade where teams garnered more in return.
With the above examples, it can be seen why the executive is concerned with the trade affecting future values. Adofo-Mensah’s first trade as GM clearly was one of the most questionable made in recent times.