10 bold predictions for the Minnesota Vikings 2023 offseason

(Photo by Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter
(Photo by Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /

Adam Thielen has played his last game as a Viking

There might not be a more beloved player in team history than Adam Thielen. A Detroit Lakes native and Minnesota State Mankato alum, he’s lived the dream that many have acted out in their backyards, but few have actually gotten to live.

Unfortunately, time comes for everyone in the NFL and after a disappointing season, Thielen may have played his last game for his home state team.

Thielen was one of four players on the Vikings to record 60 catches this season, but he posted a career-low 1.06 yards per route run, according to Pro Football Focus. Thielen also appeared to be a step slow and struggled to get separation.

Still, Thielen was vocal about his future on Monday during an appearance on KFAN radio, saying he plans on playing in 2023.

"“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].”"

Even if this was due to an injury, teams are always looking for a reason not to pay players – even if they’re from Minnesota. With a $19.9 million cap number for next season, the Vikings will have to do something, but it remains to be seen if that will be a trade or release, which would create $6.4 million in cap room.

One thing that could be on the table is a contract restructure, but that kicks more money down the road for a 33-year-old that will already count $2.25 million against the cap during a void year in 2025.

Considering Thielen got a raise last year, it wouldn’t be surprising if they found a way to work things out. The Vikings do need a solution, however, and it could mean saying goodbye to one of their most popular players.