Adam Thielen opens up about a frustrating Vikings exit in 2023

Carolina Panthers WR Adam Thielen
Carolina Panthers WR Adam Thielen / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

Regardless of how many more seasons he plays in the NFL, Adam Thielen will always be remembered for the decade he spent as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

Vikings fans got to watch the kid from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, work his way from the practice squad to special teams to backup wide receiver to eventually becoming a multiple-time Pro Bowl receiver during his tenure with the franchise.

Which is why it was difficult for a portion of the fan base when the Vikings made the decision last year to release the veteran pass-catcher. Recently, Thielen reflected on an offseason that he had never experienced before during his time in the NFL.

Adam Thielen has "no hard feelings" toward the Minnesota Vikings for his 2023 release

This past season, Thielen was able to prove to the rest of the league that he still has a little juice left in the tank, as he was able to lead the Panthers in receiving with 103 catches for 1,014 yards and four touchdowns.

His production in 2023 made some question Minnesota's choice to move on from him last year, but the veteran wide receiver knows it was a business decision the organization felt they had to make and nothing more.

In a recent interview with the Star Tribune's Andrew Krammer, Thielen had the following to say about how he handled the departure from the only NFL franchise he had come to know up until the 2023 offseason.

"Initially, the emotions kind of get the best of you where you get frustrated and you just don't understand it, but at the end of the day, I'm a believer. I know how Christ would react to it. You just have to be forgiving, move forward, and respect it, and I do.

So, I've sent several messages [during the 2023 season] to Kevin and Kwesi just kind of letting them know that there's no hard feelings and that I respect those guys and understand there's a business to it.

If it [were] perfectly written out, things probably would've looked different, but you just have to move on and respect those things."

During the interview with Krammer, Thielen also revealed that he doesn't plan to play much longer in the NFL, which shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.

Thielen will turn 34 in August, and he'll be entering his 12th year in the league. Despite playing in every game in each of his last two seasons, he's dealt with a number of injuries during the last handful of years, and they have likely taken a toll on his mental and physical health.

With Carolina, Thielen has two years left on his current contract, and once that runs out or the team possibly decides to part with him in 2025, that might be when he decides to hang up his cleats for good.

Whenever that eventually happens, Vikings fans know it won't be long before he's inducted into the team's Ring of Honor.

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