5 worst free agent signings under Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Former Minnesota Vikings CB Chandon Sullivan
Former Minnesota Vikings CB Chandon Sullivan / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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2. Alexander Mattison - RB

It was pretty surprising back in 2023 when the Vikings re-signed running back Alexander Mattison.

He had previously been a backup, and a good one at that, for his entire career in purple, but the thought was that he'd look to be a No. 1 back with a new team. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah didn't draft him and had no ties to him, so it was expected it would be a mutual and amicable parting.

Instead, Adofo-Mensah brought him back to be Minnesota's starting running back for 2023, and it was an epic failure.

Mattison rushed for 700 yards and zero touchdowns in 2023. He is the only starting running back in the history of the Vikings to not rush for a single touchdown in season as the team's primary ball carrier (minimum 180 carries).

That's insane.

Mattison also struggled to hold on to the ball, and at one point in the season, he led the entire NFL in dropped passes.

He struggled to find open running lanes, and he was so ineffective that the Vikings wasted little time trading for Rams running back Cam Akers, who was immediately the better option.

A few weeks later, Akers suffered an Achilles injury, and Ty Chandler got his shot. Chandler also looked better out on the field than Mattison, and he was more effective. By season's end, it was Chandler getting the majority of the touches in the offensive backfield.

Maybe Mattison just isn't a lead back. He has looked good coming off the bench, but now no team is going to sign him to be their starter. Adofo-Mensah shouldn't have in 2023 either, and this past season proved that.

1. Marcus Davenport - EDGE

Marcus Davenport is easily the worst signing in Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's brief time with the Vikings and it will go down as one of the worst in team history.

Signing Davenport was always a gamble. The dude had been injured frequently in his career and had never completed a full season.

Minnesota was well aware of that lengthy injury history, yet they still decided to roll the dice and sign Davenport to a one-year deal worth up to $13 million with $10 million guaranteed.

What did the Vikings get for that $10 Million?

They got seven tackles, two tackles for a loss, and two sacks. Ouch. It was a gamble that blew up in the Vikings' face and set this defense back.

The real kick to the pants about the whole Davenport misfire was that when he was on the field for that game and a half, he was actually very good.

He played a huge role in the team getting its first win of the season against the Panthers. He was consistently in the face of Bryce Young, pressuring him or pushing his blocker right into the young quarterback's lap. He also played well against the Chiefs but then was hurt against the Bears and missed the remainder of the season.

There were rumors that Davenport was healthy enough to return to the field but chose not to. Whether or not those are true, his desire and passion for the game have been questioned in the past.

Davenport was a huge swing and miss for Adofo-Mensah, and hopefully, it's a gamble he learns from and doesn't repeat in the future.