Adam Thielen shares juicy detail about departure from the Vikings

Carolina Panthers WR Adam Thielen
Carolina Panthers WR Adam Thielen / David Berding/GettyImages

It was a moment that some thought would never happen, but in March of 2023, the Minnesota Vikings made the difficult decision to release longtime wide receiver Adam Thielen.

Born and raised in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Thielen spent the first 10 years of his NFL career as a member of the Vikings, and many expected him to remain with the franchise until he retired.

But Minnesota's new regime, led by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, clearly had other plans for the future of the team, and these plans didn't include Thielen.

Adam Thielen reveals Minnesota Vikings didn't make an effort to bring him back in 2023

His 10th season with the Vikings concluded with a disappointing playoff loss to the New York Giants, and little did everyone know, that would turn out to be Thielen's final game in a Minnesota uniform.

A few weeks after the playoff loss to the Giants, the Vikings made the decision to release Thielen. During a recent interview with's DJ Siddiqi, the veteran wide receiver had the following to say when asked whether or not Minnesota left the door open for a possible return to the team in 2023.

"They did not, no. It never really got to that point. At that point, it was, 'Do you guys want me to come back this year?'"

Thielen also made it clear that he understands what the intentions are of the Vikings' current regime.

"Obviously they're building for the future. They really did some great things. They drafted a young receiver [Jordan Addison] that did a great job. I think they had a very specific plan of what their time was for the future and they're attacking that and going after it. It is what it is. Have nothing but respect for all those guys."

Looking back, we now know that Thielen's departure was just one of many difficult decisions Minnesota has made since the hiring of Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O'Connell.

O'Connell and Adofo-Mensah were brought in to change where the Vikings were heading, and they can't do that without moving on from a number of players who were a part of the previous era, including Thielen.

Luckily for the veteran wide receiver, he was able to quickly land on his feet during the 2023 offseason when he signed a multi-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. He went on to lead the Panthers in a number of receiving categories last season, and he'll likely play significant role in any sort of success the team has in 2024.

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