Adam Thielen Gets His Chance to Prove It

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins
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The Minnesota Vikings cut fan-favorite Adam Thielen this offseason, as he would have entered the 2023 season with an untenable cap hit. Looking to find a spot to shine, the Carolina Panthers should provide exactly that.

Just days after the Carolina Panthers got fleeced traded an absolute haul to the Chicago Bears for the first overall pick, they brought in a pass-catcher for that eventual quarterback. Andy Dalton will be the veteran signal-caller to lead Carolina initially, but his two-year deal worth $11 million won’t stop them from taking either Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud at the top of April’s draft.

Adam Thielen Gets His Chance to Prove It

The three possibilities represent vastly different scenarios for Adam Thielen, but each of them will rely heavily on an ability for the veteran wideout to shine. Carolina sent number one wide receiver D.J. Moore to the Bears when they acquired the top pick, which immediately puts Thielen atop the depth chart.

Adam Thielen Gets
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Dalton is not a gunslinger or a mobile quarterback, and while Young is more mobile, plenty of questions about his size exist. Stroud is the most prototypical pocket passer, but he may need a bit longer a learning curve. At any rate, for a guy who looked like he lost a step last year, Thielen will be forcing his quarterback to throw into tight windows. Being a burner has never been Thielen’s game, and while his hands remain elite, the ability to create separation (or lack thereof) would seem problematic for any arm he’s paired with.

The Panthers are obviously hoping that Thielen can again blossom when removed from the shadow of Justin Jefferson, but that remains to be seen for an aging player. Thielen has always been an incredibly hard worker, and he’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder to prove he can still operate at the top of the NFL.

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Minnesota knows they’ll need to replace Thielen in their offense, and adding another pass catcher was probably a must even before moving on. It was clear that the two sides had reached the end of their time together, and now each can evaluate who outperforms the other in the year ahead.

Vikings Fans Are on
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When the dust settles on Thielen’s playing career, it should be a no-brainer for him to either retire a Viking or at least be inducted into the Ring of Honor. Thielen is and will forever be among the greatest success stories in franchise history, and having him a part of the organization well beyond his time as a football player seems like a must.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.