4 Vikings players that could be traded during the 2021 offseason

(Photo by Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen /

Adam Thielen – WR

There are probably Vikings fans out there that would hate it if the team traded Adam Thielen for Patrick Mahomes. That’s how much Thielen means to Minnesota’s fan base.

Still, the Vikings veteran receiver is inching closer to the end of his career, and pass-catchers aren’t known for being very productive at his age (he’ll be 31 in August). Since 2010, only 12 wide receivers who were at least 31-years-old have finished with 1,000 receiving yards or more in a single season.

For 2021, Thielen is currently scheduled to have a cap hit of $13.5 million, which will be the fifth-highest on Minnesota’s roster. Trading or releasing the veteran receiver before June 1 would clear $8.1 million in cap space for the Vikings.

That might not seem like enough for some to deal Thielen elsewhere this offseason, but the possible return package Minnesota could receive in a trade for the receiver is what could convince them to send him packing.

The Vikings currently don’t have a second-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, and if this is something they can land in exchange for Thielen, it might be hard for Rick Spielman to say no.

If Minnesota doesn’t deal Thielen this year, it’s something they will probably have to think about for the near future. He’s not getting any younger and his cap hits only go up after this season until his contract expires in 2025.

As is the case with Harrison Smith, the percentage chance of the Vikings actually trading Thielen this year still seems to be very low. But Minnesota’s expected financial situation this offseason and Spielman’s reputation when it comes to trades makes the possibility of Thielen getting dealt something that cannot be ruled out.