The Minnesota Vikings released wide receiver Adam Thielen on Friday after a long tenure with the team. A fan favorite, Thielen played collegiately at Minnesota State and signed with the Vikings in 2013 after trying out at the rookie minicamp.
By the end of his 9-year run in Minnesota, Thielen had more receptions than any player in Vikings history except for Cris Carter and Randy Moss. Thielen notes that his NFL journey is far more than he could have dreamed. Coach Kevin O’Connell admired Thielen for his drive to hone his craft to become one of the best receivers in the NFL, in addition to his contribution to the community.
Thielen’s role in the Vikings’ offense diminished towards the end of last season. He was fourth in targets during a five-game stretch behind Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson, and K.J. Osborn.
There was a possibility that the Vikings would restructure Thielen’s contract this offseason, which would include a pay cut and a lesser role in 2023. Thielen recently indicated that he wanted to retire as a Viking but still felt he could play at a high level.
With a relatively weak free agent market this off-season at wide receiver, Thielen should get interest from other teams. Thielen will likely accept another team offer that could guarantee him more playing time than the Vikings. Thielen will turn 33 before the start of the 2023 NFL season and wants to prove he has more left in the tank.
Thielen was a Pro Bowl selection in 2017 and 2018, combining for 204 receptions and 2649 yards. He had 14 touchdowns receiving in 2020 and another 10 in 2021. Last season, Thielen had 70 catches for 716 yards and had 534 receptions for 6682 yards and 55 touchdowns in his career.