Adam Thielen Sheds Light on 2023 Contract Mystery

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The Minnesota Vikings offseason began on the night of January 15th, and since then, the status of wide receiver Adam Thielen has existed in limbo.

Thielen, 32, is scheduled to incur a $19.9 million cap hit against the Vikings books in 2023, a figure thought by some as too expensive for a WR2 who tallied 716 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns in 2022.

Adam Thielen Sheds Light on 2023 Contract Mystery

Well, the first little domino on Thielen’s contract situation fell on Thursday as the Minnesota State alumnus confirmed his contract talks with the Vikings are ongoing.

“We’re working through some stuff because I have a big cap hit,” Thielen replied on The Pat McAfee Show when asked about his 2023 contract in Minnesota.

Adam Thielen Sheds Light
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“They’re gonna try to do something, but we’ll see,” Thielen mentioned about the Vikings prospect of retaining the playmaker.

McAfee then asked Thielen if the contract dealings had begun, and Thielen responded, “They have. We’re in the middle of the conversations.”

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Here’s the video clip:

Thielen joined the Vikings in 2013 as an undrafted special teamer and clawed his way up the depth chart to WR1 by the start of 2016. He’s the epitome of a hometown hero, universally loved, and the type of player who “should” retire with the Vikings. He was also born in Minnesota.

Yet, fans have contemplated life after Thielen for a few weeks because of the aforementioned contract, as Minnesota is underwater via the salary cap by about $23 million entering the offseason. In that vein, Thielen’s almost $20 million cap hit is bees-to-honey for theorized spots where general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah can trim cap space. Thielen has affirmed this offseason his self-belief in still performing at a high level.

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Thielen even said on ESPN’s First Take Thursday, “I want to retire a Viking. Will that happen? I don’t know. This is also a business. And I also want my opportunity to show that I can play at a high level. So, we’ll see what happens.”

He ranks third all-time in Vikings history for receiving touchdowns (55) and fourth in receiving yards (6,682). If the Vikings released or traded Thielen after June 1st, per his current contract, they’d save $13.4 million.

Thielen’s teammates Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson are expected to fetch large long-term paydays this offseason.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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