Future with Panthers 'not guaranteed' according to Adam Thielen

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen / Courtney Culbreath/GettyImages

Following his current team's final game of the 2023 season, former Minnesota Vikings receiver Adam Thielen commented on his future with the Carolina Panthers.

For former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, his first season with the Carolina Panthers is one that will likely go down as one of the worst of his entire NFL career.

On a personal level, Thielen still put up some impressive numbers, as he finished with 103 catches for 1,014 yards and four touchdowns. But his performance wasn't enough to help the Panthers win more than two games during the 2023 campaign.

Following Carolina's Week 18 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past Sunday, the former Vikings receiver made it known that his time with the Panthers could be over sooner rather than later after what has been an incredibly disappointing last few months for the team.

Former Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen says remaining with Carolina Panthers is "not guaranteed"

After the Panthers suffered their 15th and final loss of the 2023 season this past weekend, Thielen shared some thoughts on all of the changes that are likely going to occur with his current team during the next few weeks.

"Obviously, there are a lot of things that are going to take place in the next few weeks, and we'll see what happens. I'm not guaranteed to be here, so I'm just going to control what I can control and see what happens."

Thielen also said he's "super excited about what the future holds" for Carolina if he does end up sticking around for another season or two.

But it's clear that the former Minnesota pass-catcher is expecting some big changes to happen with the Panthers, and he knows that their new plans might not involve him.

After 10 years with the Vikings, Thielen was released by Minnesota last March, and soon after, he wound up landing a three-year contract from Carolina worth $25 million.

If the Panthers are going to move on from the former Vikings receiver this offseason, their best bet is to find a trade partner.

Releasing Thielen before June 1st will actually result in Carolina losing a little more than $1.25 million in cap space, while trading him before June 1st will free up just under $3.24 million in cap space and leave the Panthers with more than $6.6 million in dead cap.

Financially, it probably makes more sense for Carolina to keep him around for at least one more season. But if the new regime that the Panthers hire wants to come in and clean house, then Thielen could be on his way out regardless.

Despite Carolina's incredible lack of success in 2023, the 33-year-old wide receiver was able to prove that he can still make an impact out on the field.

If the Panthers move on from Thielen this offseason, it wouldn't be surprising he opted to join a team that has a good shot to contend for a Super Bowl ring in 2024.

For now, the former Minnesota pass-catcher will just have to wait to find out his fate until the Panthers hire a new general manager and a new head coach.