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Vikings release WR Adam Thielen after a decade in Minnesota

Adam Thielen's tenure with the Minnesota Vikings is officially ending after 10 seasons.

The Vikings are releasing the two-time Pro Bowl receiver, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported on Friday, per sources informed of the situation. The team later confirmed the news.

The 32-year-old's future had hung in the balance this offseason. Sides discussed restructuring his contract to lower the $19.97 million cap hit but couldn't come to an agreement. The cap-strapped Vikings will save $6.417 million on the cap with a $13.55 million dead-money hit by releasing Thielen on Friday.

"Adam will forever be a part of the Minnesota Vikings family and history," general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said in a statement. "Setting the standard with his play on the field, being a selfless teammate, and making a permanent impact in the community, Adam's influence is significant. We are grateful for everything he brought to the Vikings organization since arriving in 2013, and I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to work with him over the last year. He is the best representation of what the Minnesota Vikings should stand for. I wish nothing but the best for Adam, Caitlin and their entire family." 

Thielen wrote a marvelous NFL story in Minnesota.

The Detroit Lakes native went undrafted out of Minnesota State in 2013. He famously attended a rookie tryout with his hometown team, eventually signing to the practice squad for the season. From there, he rose the ranks, generating a blow-up 967-yard season in 2016. The steady wideout then put up back-to-back Pro Bowl campaigns, surpassing the 1,200-yard mark in 2017 and 2018.

"Adam's tremendous impact goes well beyond the Vikings organization," owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said in a statement. "His rise from a tryout player to one of the best players in the history of our franchise has encouraged so many young athletes and is a testament to hard work and perseverance.

"He was a Minnesota Viking long before we signed him and he will be always considered a part of this team."

To say he earned his payday in 2019 is an understatement. Thielen worked his way into being one of the most reliable pass catchers in the NFL. His stellar route-running allowed him to get open at any area of the field, and his sticky hands provided playmaking in traffic.

In recent years, however, his play has fallen off a bit as he played through injury. He's generated fewer than 750 yards each of the past two seasons.

With the Vikings ready to bump K.J. Osborn to the No. 2 role behind Justin Jefferson, Thielen's nearly $20 million cap hit was untenable.

Given the dearth of veteran receivers set to hit the open market next, Thielen's camp didn't have a big incentive to take a massive pay cut to remain in Minnesota. Even turning 33 before the 2023 campaign, Thielen should find a solid market for his services.

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