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Getting to Know Bears General Manager Candidates: Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Chicago Bears

A complete house cleaning is underway at Halas Hall.

Three football seasons have passed since Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace won top honors for their efforts in leading the 2018 Chicago Bears to a 12-4 record and NFC North title, and the time has come for the franchise to find their replacements.

Despite this team’s issues, the head coach and general manager vacancies are highly sought-after. And with Super Bowl winning Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian lending a helping hand, the Bears are in a position to make some impact hirings. Over the following days, weeks, or however long it takes, we’ll be diving into the top available candidates, including their history, what they offer schematically, how they fit culturally, where they can take this team, and more. Let’s do it. 

Previous Head Coach Candidates: Doug Pederson, Nathaniel Hackett.

Previous General Manager Candidates: Glenn Cook, Jeff Ireland

Name, Current Team and Position

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Cleveland Browns Vice President of Football Operations (2020-present)

Relevant Experience

•   San Francisco 49ers, Football Research and Development (Manager, 2013-17; Director, 2018-19)

What Adofo-Mensah lacks in traditional football experience, he makes up elsewhere. For instance, Adofo-Mensah has an Ivy League education and bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton. He also has a master’s degree in economics from Stanford. Hey, we’ve been wanting the Bears to get smarter. Right? Adofo-Mensah was also a basketball player at Princeton, so it’s not as if he was some nerdy bookworm who was hitting only the books while on campus.

Adofo-Mensah’s football path is an intriguing one. Per the Bears’ announcement of their successful first interview with Adofo-Mensah (and Champ Kelly), it is noted that the Browns exec “led the 49ers’ efforts to develop and implement advanced quantitative methods for game strategy and personnel evaluation” while in San Francisco. Again … haven’t we, as fans, been wishing for the Bears to play a smarter brand of football? Haven’t we been dreaming on making smart, logical football decisions on the field?

Existing Rumors and Bears Ties

Before the Bears made Adofo-Mensah’s candidacy officially official by announcing that they had an interview with him on Thursday, he was one of the first names publicly connected to the gig. Things have been trending in the right direction for Adofo-Mensah, who was a person if interest for openings last year:

If you really want to stretch it when it comes to Bears ties, this feels like a good place to note how his time in San Francisco coincided with former Bears QB (and seemingly perennial coaching candidate) Jim Harbaugh.

Potential Fit

Adofo-Mensah is an outside-of-the-box type of candidate. Because while he hasn’t gone through a traditional football climb, he provides a different perspective with his non-traditional path. And since the Bears continuing to get the same results while doing the same thing over and over again, going off the board with a different type of candidate might be what this organization needs.

And the paths don’t get much different than being a former commodities trader on Wall Street:

In The End …

Contacting the Browns for help isn’t something I would’ve had under consideration in 2022. But in these unprecedented times — such as the present where the Browns have won a playoff game more recently than the Bears — we are expanding our horizons. Adofo-Mensah might not be the snazziest candidate to walk through the doors at Halas Hall. But by the way things are going, it doesn’t seem like it will be long until some team snaps him up as he continues to climb football’s organizational ladders.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.