It’s an end of an era for the Minnesota Vikings. The franchise announced on Friday that they are releasing wideout Adam Thielen, ending his stint with the franchise, the only one he knew about, after 10 seasons.
The Vikings gave Thielen a proper farewell, commemorating his time with the franchise through several social media posts and statements from the team’s brass.
“He was a Minnesota Viking long before we signed him, and he will always be considered a part of this team,” owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said in a team-released statement.
Thielen also released a statement via his social media, saying playing for the Vikings was “beyond what I could have dreamed of.”
“I poured everything I had into these last 10+ years in presenting and playing for this team and state. My family and I will always cherish the memories we created on and off the field. Minnesota is — and will always be — home to us,” wrote Thielen.
Thielen was born in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and played college football at Minnesota State. After not being selected in the 2013 NFL Draft, he attended a rookie tryout with the Vikings and managed to land a contract with the franchise.
Thielen didn’t seem to have much action at the start of his pro career, being used on both the offense and special teams. This all changed after his breakthrough campaign in 2016, in which he had 69 catches for 967 yards and five touchdowns. Thielen followed this up with two Pro Bowl seasons, establishing himself as the team’s No. 1 wideout.
However, Thielen’s role diminished in recent years, mostly due to the emergence of Justin Jefferson and other younger offensive talent. This, coupled with his significant cap hit, resulted in the Vikings deciding it was time for the two sides to go their separate ways.
Thielen is now expected to be one of the most sought-after wideouts in free agency. He will likely opt for a team that will give him a more prominent role alongside a chance to compete for a Super Bowl.