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Lunchbreak: Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Keeps Vikings Core Together; Bud Grant's Service Recognized

EAGAN, Minn. – Though it was an eventful trade deadline for the Minnesota Vikings, General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah decided to keep the core of the team together.

Star Tribune writer Andrew Krammer highlighted Adofo-Mensah after the deadline for his decision making.

The most telling moves Tuesday were the ones the Vikings didn't make. They did not bring in a long-term threat to quarterback Kirk Cousins, instead acquiring 28-year-old Joshua Dobbs, and they did not deal edge rusher Danielle Hunter, who remained in purple despite continued interest from other teams.

The Bears traded a second-round pick to Washington for edge rusher Montez Sweat, while the 49ers sent a third-round pick to the Commanders for edge rusher Chase Young.

The Vikings got no such additional draft capital for the 29-year-old Hunter, whose 10 sacks and expiring contract are setting him up for a nice payday in March. Adofo-Mensah said he didn't see a path to playing meaningful games without players such as Hunter. He wouldn't divulge trade discussions.

Adofo-Mensah described quarterback Kirk Cousins' Achilles injury as "a curveball." But he felt comfortable trading for Dobbs to add experience and depth to a position as rookie Jaren Hall heads toward his first career start.

Adofo-Mensah singled out Cousins' past four games when asked if the quarterback's play had changed anything about the team's interest in re-signing him.

There's also "a little uncertainty" about backup quarterback Nick Mullens' health, Adofo-Mensah said. Mullens, who has a back injury, is eligible to return from Injured Reserve next week, but O'Connell said they're just hopeful he'll come back at some point this season.

Dobbs, who started all eight of Arizona's games this season, gives the Vikings another experienced quarterback.

The Vikings personnel department had previously rated Dobbs highly. Adofo-Mensah had followed Dobbs since the 2017 draft, when he was doing research for the 49ers, and knows people in Cleveland, where Dobbs spent 2022 and 2023 training camps.

Dobbs was on the short list of Vikings' QB options, despite myriad suggestions.

Dobbs practiced for the first time Wednesday, when rookie Jaren Hall took first-team reps in preparation for his first NFL start on Sunday in Atlanta. Cousins told teammates he'd return to TCO Performance Center soon.

Click here to read Krammer's full story.

Bud Grant named Vikings 2023 Salute to Service Award Nominee

The NFL and USAA announced the 2023 nominees for the annual Salute to Service Award. This honor recognizes NFL players, coaches, staff and alumni with proven commitment to honoring and supporting military and veteran communities.

The following description was included in a listing of all nominees:

In Bud Grant's words, "Stars and heroes are different. Stars entertain us; heroes define us. In the morning light, stars fade away. Heroes never do." Despite being the most famous sports figure in Minnesota for decades, Bud always made a point to distance himself from the hero category. Although he had served in the United States Navy, he reserved hero status for other servicemembers, including those who sacrificed their lives in duty. Thinking about the courage and conviction of some of his contemporaries brought Bud to tears, even more than a half century later. Bud's sincere respect of service members and the United States prompted him to create the "Viking Formation" in which the team stood at full attention during the National Anthem. Roughly 50 years after the "Viking Formation" appeared on the cover of the 1974 Vikings Press Guide, Vikings Legends who played for Bud, including National Guard veteran Carl Eller, lined up in the formation as Minnesota opened its 2023 regular season. Although Bud passed away six months earlier in March, his genuine appreciation for service members continues through the players he coached and fans he impacted. Bud had a long history of honoring, empowering and connecting with active military members and veterans, including through his support for Minnesota Veterans Outdoors. The organization provides memorable hunting and fishing opportunities for disabled veterans. The veterans can share their experiences as they receive outdoor recreational therapy outlets.

Fans have an opportunity to vote for their favorite nominee to help determine the award's three finalists until Nov. 30.

Finalists will be announced in January. The 2023 Salute to Service Award recipient will be recognized at NFL Honors in February during the week of Super Bowl LVIII.