Has Adam Thielen caught his last pass from Kirk Cousins?

(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen and Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen and Kirk Cousins /

With the Minnesota Vikings placing Adam Thielen on injured reserve on Wednesday, it’s possible that his time as a teammate of Kirk Cousins could be over.

Since Kirk Cousins signed with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, he and wide receiver Adam Thielen have connected for a total of 39 touchdowns. Those 39 trips Thielen has made to the end zone are the fourth-most among all NFL receivers since the start of the 2018 season.

Unfortunately, Cousins’ isn’t going to have one of his favorite targets out on the field during Minnesota‘s final two games of the current campaign as the team announced on Wednesday that Thielen has been placed on the injured reserve list and he will be out of action for the remainder of the season.

While Cousins and Thielen have developed into one of the better quarterback/receiver duos in the league, the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Vikings after 2021 might mean that we have already seen the last of these two wearing the same uniform.

Does the future of the Minnesota Vikings still include Adam Thielen and Kirk Cousins?

Some might be wondering why Minnesota would even consider parting ways with Cousins or Thielen in 2022. Well, there are several reasons why this connection could be separated next year.

Most of the reasoning surrounds what the Vikings’ salary cap situation is expected to look like in 2022. Currently, Minnesota is projected to be more than $10 million over the cap next year, so some moves will need to be made during the next few months in order to not only get back under the salary cap, but to also create some spending money to use for improving their roster.

Trading Cousins in 2022 would free up $35 million in cap space for Minnesota and trading or releasing Thielen next year would create almost $6 million in additional cap space.

Parting ways with the veteran receiver would actually result in more dead money for the Vikings than if they traded Cousins, so Minnesota getting rid of their quarterback in 2022 seems more likely than the team showing Thielen the door.

However, if the Vikings bring in a new head coach and/or general manager, who knows what sort of plans they could have for the roster? A new regime might just get rid of both Cousins and Thielen in an effort to compile as many resources as possible to build a new roster that consists of players who better fit the kind of team they want to put on the field.

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This is just one of the many things we will have to pay attention to once the 2021 season comes to an end for Minnesota.