Details of Thielen’s extension reveal more cap wizardry by the Vikings

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /

The details of Adam Thielen’s new extension with the Minnesota Vikings have been revealed and the terms look to be pretty favorable for the team.

Over the past few years, the Minnesota Vikings front office has become known for their ability to retain some of their top players with deals that don’t gouge the team’s future financial situation. Adam Thielen’s new extension with the Vikings is the latest example of this.

Thielen and Minnesota agreed to a four-year extension last Friday that is worth approximately $64.2 million. The veteran wide receiver can reportedly earn up to $73 million from the new deal with incentives.

Looking closer at the details of Thielen’s extension with the Vikings, it includes $33 million in guarantees, but only $14.105 million of it is fully guaranteed. If needed, Minnesota can also get out of the deal in 2021 and only endure $5.4 million in dead cap as a result.

Below are Thielen’s salary cap hits for the next six seasons.

  • 2019: $8.105 million
  • 2020: $12.8 million
  • 2021: $13.4 million
  • 2022: $14.445 million
  • 2023: $15.45 million
  • 2024: $14.6 million

Thanks to his signing bonus, the Vikings receiver will earn $14.305 million in total cash this year. Anthony Barr ($16 million) and Kirk Cousins ($28 million) are the only members of Minnesota’s roster set to earn more cash than Thielen in 2019.

With his new extension, the 28-year-old pass catcher will earn the sixth-most money of any wide receiver in the league next season. Thielen’s total contract value is now also the ninth-highest among NFL receivers.

The argument can be made that Thielen has been more productive over the past two years than fellow Vikings pass catcher Stefon Diggs. Yet somehow, Minnesota was able to convince Thielen to sign a new deal that includes less fully guaranteed money than what Diggs was given by the team last summer ($16.907 million)

For the most part, the Vikings’ front office is one of the best in the league when it comes to signing team-friendly deals. Minnesota makes sure to get something done before a player becomes too expensive and it usually results in the team saving themselves a bunch of money in the long run.

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This tactic has allowed the Vikings to keep the majority of their young, talented core together and remain competitive each and every season. Now, Minnesota is just hoping for all of their decisions to eventually pay off with a Super Bowl win.