Adam Thielen sounds like he already has one foot out the door

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Adam Thielen
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen shared some thoughts about his future with the franchise and where things might be headed on Thursday. 

After recently finishing up his 10th season as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, some are wondering if wide receiver Adam Thielen has already played his last game in purple and gold.

Thielen appeared in all 17 of Minnesota’s regular-season matchups in 2022, but he failed to gain over 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth year in a row. The veteran receiver also has a cap hit of more than $19.6 million in 2023 and the Vikings are more than likely going to look for a way to lower that by a significant amount.

Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen speaks on his future with the franchise

During an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take”, Thielen was asked if he wants to remain in Minnesota for next season and beyond.

Here’s how the veteran receiver responded to that question.

"“I want to retire a Viking. Will that happen? I don’t know. This is also a business. And I also want my opportunity to show that I can play at a high level. So we’ll see what happens.”"

Thielen also appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Thursday, and he shared some thoughts about his current contract situation with the Vikings.

"“It’s a little interesting. We’re working through some stuff because I’ve got a big cap hit and my contract fully guarantees on, I think, March 16th or something like that. So they’re going to try to do something, but we’ll see.”"

From the sounds of some of the answers Thielen gave on Thursday, it sounds like he’s prepared to play somewhere else if he has to in 2023. He probably wouldn’t have given the sales pitch about still being able to play at “a high level” if he wasn’t worried about his future with Minnesota.

It’s also interesting that he continues to emphasize how he wants the opportunity to prove that he can still play at a top level. As someone who finished second on the Vikings‘ roster in targets during the 2022 season, where exactly does he think he’s going to get a better opportunity?

Perhaps, Thielen sees the writing on the wall, and he realizes that he’s not really part of Minnesota’s long-term plans anymore. Toward the end of the 2022 season, the Vikings seemed to prioritize getting the ball in some of their younger playmakers’ hands like Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson, and K.J. Osborn. But can anyone really blame Minnesota for taking this approach?

As Thielen said, the Vikings have a little more than a month to figure out what they want to do with him before his 2023 contract becomes fully guaranteed.

Will he continue his journey with his hometown team next season or will Thielen be forced to continue his NFL career in a different jersey?

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