The Minnesota Vikings have terminated the contract of wide receiver Adam Thielen ahead of the 2023 free agency. Thielen, an undrafted free agent, climbed his way up to become a part of the Vikings franchise history, ranking third in team history in receptions and receiving touchdowns, and fourth in receiving yards. The termination of Thielen’s contract comes after he was named Vikings Community Man of the Year in 2022 for his work through the Thielen Foundation, which he founded in 2018.
Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah expressed his gratitude for Thielen’s contributions to the team since his arrival in 2013. He praised Thielen’s play on the field, selfless teamwork, and community impact, saying that he represents the best of what the Minnesota Vikings should stand for. He wished Thielen and his family nothing but the best in the future.
Thielen began his NFL career in 2013 when he was signed after participating in Minnesota’s rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. He primarily worked on special teams and as a blocker from 2014-2015, catching 20 passes for 281 yards and one touchdown on 31 targets. However, Thielen broke through in 2016 with 69 catches for 967 yards and five scores, starting every game in each of the next two seasons.
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Despite multiple changes to the Vikings offense’s offensive coordinator and several quarterback injuries from 2014-2017, Thielen continued to produce, posting his career bests of 113 receptions and 1,373 yards in 2018, his first season with quarterback Kirk Cousins. He became the first player in NFL history to open a season with eight consecutive 100-yard games. In 2020, Thielen caught 14 touchdowns, the fifth-highest total by a Viking in one season all-time, and followed that up with 67 receptions for 726 yards and ten touchdowns in just 13 games in 2021.
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In 2022, under Kevin O’Connell, Thielen caught 70 passes for 716 yards and six scores, becoming just the fourth undrafted player in NFL history with at least 50 touchdown catches.
Off the field, Thielen has been gracious with fans and has used his platform to help the community. His Thielen Foundation has donated more than $2.5 million to community organizations, including a pledge of $1 million shared among eight Minnesota nonprofit organizations. The organizations align with the foundation’s goals of helping others reach their full potential.
Thielen’s contributions have included renovations of high school weight rooms and raising money to replace damaged lights at Brooklyn Center so that players could again enjoy Friday night lights in front of family members and friends.
Thielen’s legacy with the Minnesota Vikings will forever be a part of the team’s history, and he will always be remembered for his achievements on and off the field.