Veteran Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen recently shared his thoughts about what his future with the organization could look like.
Adam Thielen will forever be remembered as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. But at 32-years-old, Thielen’s tenure with the only NFL team he’s ever played for could be coming to an end in the near future.
In 2023, the veteran pass-catcher is scheduled to have a cap hit of almost $20 million, and for a player that hasn’t gained over 1,000 receiving yards in a season since 2018, that is a number that must decrease significantly if he is going to remain with the Vikings for another year.
Especially since Minnesota is currently projected to be more than $24 million over the salary cap when the new league year begins in March. The Vikings are going to need to find ways to create cap space during the next few weeks, and high-priced veterans like Thielen are going to be at risk of becoming a cap casualties.
Adam Thielen gets blunt about future with Minnesota Vikings
As someone who had to grind his way through years on the practice squad and special teams to get where he is today, Thielen knows all about how ruthless the NFL can be.
In a recent conversation on KFAN’s “The Power Trip”, it sounds like the veteran receiver has already prepared himself for a possible departure with Minnesota this year if that’s what ends up happening.
"“I have a lot of ball left. I feel great. I feel like I can play at a really high level still. With that being said, I know I’m going to be playing football still [in 2023]. I don’t know how [much longer] that will be, but I will be playing football 100 percent [in 2023].Obviously, I would love to finish my career here and retire a Minnesota Viking and have my entire career be here. But I also know that this is a business and there’s going to have to be some business decisions being made.”"
The Vikings can free up more than $6 million in cap space if they release or trade Thielen this offseason, and that cap space will increase to around $13.4 million if they designate him as a post-June 1st release.
In 2022, Thielen caught 70 passes for 716 yards and six touchdowns. These are solid numbers, but they’re not even close to being worth the gigantic cap hit he’s currently scheduled to have in 2023. Thielen also finished the season with PFF’s 75th-best offensive grade among qualifying wide receivers, the lowest grade of his entire career.
The Detroit Lakes native still has two years left on his current contract with Minnesota. Will the Vikings give him the opportunity to play out the rest of his deal, or will they choose to say goodbye this offseason?