Kevin SeifertESPN Writer3 minute read
The Minnesota Vikings released wide receiver Adam Thielen on Friday, concluding a legendary tenure for the Minnesotan that has won the hearts of fans across the region.
Born in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and having played collegiately at Minnesota State Mankato, Thielen signed with the team in 2013 after serving as a tryout at the rookie minicamp. At the end of the 2022 season, he had more career strikes (534) than any player in team history other than Pro Football Hall of Fame members Cris Carter and Randy Moss.
“Adam’s story is known and admired by many and an incredible example of what the relentless pursuit of purpose can ultimately accomplish,” coach Kevin O’Connell said in a statement. “For more than a decade, Adam honed his craft to become one of the NFL’s most recognized wide receivers. During the same period, he dedicated much of his time to his home country. , which made it even more special for him to earn our Walter Payton Man of the Year 2022 nomination. bring our team to where we wanted it to be last season.
But as Thielen approached his 33rd birthday, he began to lose ground to the young players on the Vikings’ offense. In the last five games of last season, he ranked fourth in targets behind Justin Jefferson, TJ Hockenson and KJ Osborn.
That momentum, along with a contract that imposed a cap of $19.97 million for 2023, led to Friday’s move. The Vikings spoke to him this offseason about a possible contract restructuring that would include a pay cut, and it was clear that Thielen would have had a diminished role in their offense going forward.
Thielen told ESPN last month that he hoped to retire as a Viking. But he added: “I also want the opportunity to show that I can play at a high level.”
“Adam will always be part of the Minnesota Vikings family and history,” general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said in a statement Friday. “Setting the standard with his play on the field, being a selfless teammate and making an ongoing impact in the community, Adam’s influence is significant. We are grateful for all he has brought to the Vikings organization. since he arrived in 2013, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him over the past year. He’s the best representation of what the Minnesota Vikings should represent.
Given the relatively small free agent market at the receiver, he should attract interest from teams that can offer more playing time and goals.
Thielen, a two-time Pro Bowl draft pick, had 70 catches for 716 yards and six touchdowns last season. He has 6,682 yards and 55 touchdowns in his career.