One of the premier receivers of the last five-plus years is looking for a new home.
The Minnesota Vikings are releasing Adam Thielen after ten seasons with the team, NFL Network reported.
The 32-year-old was set to carry a nearly $20 million cap hit for the Vikings in 2023, and with Minnesota projected to be $15 million over the cap, the team granted Thielen a release instead of asking him to take a pay cut.
In a thin free agent market for receivers, Thielen is expected to have suitors despite the fact that he is set to enter his age-33 season.
Thielen is a hometown, feel-good story, having grown up a huge Vikings fan in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota and played in college at Minnesota State.
He went undrafted in 2013, but scored a tryout with the Vikings and ended up making the team.
He didn’t make his professional debut until 2014, but had a breakout year in 2016.
Thielen made back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2017 and 2018, surpassing 1,200 receiving yards in both seasons.
Even as his receiving production fell off from a yardage standpoint, he still has been a touchdown machine in recent years, scoring 30 TDs in the past three seasons.
With the emergence of K.J. Osborn and the acquisition of T.J. Hockenson at last year’s trade deadline — to pair with star Justin Jefferson — Thielen’s targets decreased and now he will get a chance to make an impact for another team.
Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah released a statement after the release was finalized.
“Adam will forever be a part of the Minnesota Vikings family and history,” the statement read. “Setting the standard with his play on the field, being a selfless teammate, and making a permanent impact in the community, Adam’s influence is significant. We are grateful for everything he brought to the Vikings organization since arriving in 2013, and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to work with him over the last year.
“He is the best representation of what the Minnesota Vikings should stand for. I wish nothing but the best for Adam, Caitlin and their entire family.”
Thielen will now likely become a top option in free agency, along with receivers such as JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jakobi Meyers and D.J. Chark.
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