Minnesota Vikings restricted free agent wide receiver Adam Thielen has agreed to terms to stay with the team for three more years, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Big restricted free-agent deal:
Vikings and WR Adam Thielen reach agreement on three-year deal, per source.
Thielen stays in Minnesota.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2017
The Vikings placed a second-round tender on Thielen one week ago, showing that they intended on keeping the former Minnesota State Maverick around. Thielen’s new deal, a three-year, $17 million extension worth up to $27 million, keeps him in Minnesota through the 2020 season.
Thielen experienced a breakout season in 2016, blowing away his career highs in every significant receiving category. He collected 69 receptions on 92 targets for 967 yards and five touchdowns in his fourth season as a pro. In a Week 16 NFC North battle at Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers had no answer for Thielen, as he posted 12 catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
His breakout season included a healthy mix of precise route running and a knack for the spectacular catch. Thielen quickly emerged as the No. 2 wide receiver in Minnesota (and a case can be made for No. 1) despite turnover at quarterback and offensive coordinator during the 2016 season.
Thielen, an undrafted free agent acquisition in 2013, spent much of his first two NFL seasons on Minnesota’s practice squad and played sparingly on offense. In fact, his first career NFL touchdown was a blocked punt recovery for a touchdown during the 2014 season.
The Detroit Lakes, Minnesota native gradually worked his way up the depth chart throughout the 2015 season but continued to play much of his snaps on special teams. Entering 2016, Thielen had only recorded 20 receptions for 281 yards and one touchdown in his career.
It was imperative for the Vikings to secure Thielen on the roster after losing Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson in free agency. Thielen joins Stefon Diggs and Jarius Wright as the only receivers on the roster that played significant snaps last season. Laquon Treadwell rounds out the receiving corps, though he played minimal snaps his rookie season and remains a question mark.
Thielen and Diggs proved to be a solid 1-2 punch for quarterback Sam Bradford when both players were healthy. Each was within 90 yards of a 1,000-yard season in 2016 — something that hasn’t happened in Minnesota since 2009.
Overall, Vikings fans should have a good Thielen about this move.
Wednesday has been a day of good news (Terence Newman is also returning for another season) for the Vikings.
Stay tuned to Vikings Territory for any more good news that pops up in the near future.