Adam Thielen Released from Vikings Contract Ahead of 2023 NFL Free Agency

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 15: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) lines up for a play during the NFL game between the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings on January 15th, 2023, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. (Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Adam Thielen’s time with the Minnesota Vikings has reached its conclusion after nine seasons, as he was released from his contract on Friday.

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The <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Vikings</a> have released WR Adam Thielen. <a href=””></a> <a href=””></a>

The <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Vikings</a> have released WR Adam Thielen. <a href=””></a> <a href=””></a>

Vikings owners Mark Wilf and Zygi Wilf released a statement about Thielen and his contributions to the organization:

“Adam’s tremendous impact goes well beyond the Vikings organization. His rise from a tryout player to one of the best players in the history of our franchise has encouraged so many young athletes and is a testament to hard work and perseverance. While Adam had a competitive fire on the field, he showed grace, compassion and humility within his community. The commitment he and his wife, Caitlin, have shown to Minnesota through the Thielen Foundation has and will continue to provide real change. Adam’s energetic, contagious personality will be missed inside the facility, but we are grateful for the foundation he built. He was a Minnesota Viking long before we signed him, and he will be always considered a part of this team. We sincerely wish Adam, Caitlin and their entire family continued success.”

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero first reported the Vikings were planning to release Thielen on Friday. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport noted that Minnesota decided to release the veteran wideout rather than asking him to take a pay cut.

This move comes after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Thursday there was “a real possibility” the Vikings would move on from the 32-year-old and allow him to hit the open market.

What’s more, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted on March 5 that the receiver’s “$20 million cap hit must be reworked, and it wouldn’t surprise if talks resulted in a fresh start.”

Minnesota potentially making a move in the wide receiver market this offseason also risks giving Thielen a smaller role alongside Justin Jefferson, which would make that cap hit even more prohibitive.

Thielen’s release means he will likely join an NFL team other than Minnesota for the first time in his career.

It took some time for the undrafted playmaker out of Minnesota State to find his footing in the NFL, but he was a back-to-back Pro Bowler in 2017 (91 catches for 1,276 yards and four touchdowns) and 2018 (113 catches for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns) as one of the most consistent WRs in the league for that stretch.

He built on that with 14 touchdown catches in 2020 and 10 touchdown catches in 2021, and he was still solid last season with 70 catches for 716 yards and six touchdowns.

Thielen may be somewhat past his prime, but he is still someone who could take advantage of the spacing created by playing alongside another talented pass-catcher like he did with Jefferson in Minnesota.

He will surely generate plenty of interest on the open market.

This content was originally published here.

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