After spending nine seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Adam Thielen has been released by the team, according to multiple reports.
The Vikings announced the move on Friday, noting that both parties failed to agree to a restructured contract. The 32-year-old wide receiver was set to have a $19.9 million cap hit in 2023, leading to the team parting ways with the two-time Pro Bowl selection.
Thielen’s 55 touchdowns and 534 receptions rank third on the Vikings’ all-time list, while his 6,682 yards rank fourth in team history.
Thielen’s impact on the Vikings organization is beyond the field, according to Vikings owners Mark Wilf and Zygi Wilf, who called him “one of the best players in the history of our franchise.” Thielen’s time with the Vikings includes standout seasons where he caught 14 touchdowns in 2020 and 10 touchdowns in 2021.
Thielen’s release comes as a surprise to many Vikings fans, who have come to appreciate the wide receiver’s tenacity on the field and his dedication to the team and community off the field. Thielen was a fan favorite and a key part of the Vikings’ offensive game plan over the past few seasons.
While the Vikings will miss Thielen’s production and leadership, they will also benefit from the salary cap savings that his release provides. With the NFL’s salary cap set to rise to $208.2 million in 2023, teams are looking to maximize their cap space in order to sign free agents and retain their own key players.
For Thielen, his release provides him with an opportunity to test the free agent market and potentially sign a lucrative contract with another team. There will undoubtedly be several teams interested in his services, given his impressive resume and consistent production over the years.
Thielen’s release also underscores the sometimes harsh realities of professional sports, where loyalty can be fleeting and business decisions often take precedence over personal relationships. Despite the disappointment of his release, Thielen can take pride in his accomplishments with the Vikings and look forward to a new chapter in his career.