During the NFL off-season, the Minnesota Vikings released a long-time wide receiver.
Before free agency began, the Vikings released Adam Thielen, ending a nine-year relationship. While the decision to release Thielen was cap space-related, the decision serves as a poignant reminder of the reality that the NFL paints.
Regardless of how productive a player is, their time with a team can end on short notice, especially if the team needs to make more cap space.
Thielen, who signed a three-year contract with the Carolina Panthers, recently went on the Star Tribune’s Daily Delivery podcast to discuss his departure from the Twin Cities.
Thielen said he didn’t want to leave Minnesota this off-season but understands that plans change.
I don’t think there was ever a point where I was unhappy with what I was doing. It was just pretty clear that they had a different vision for me than maybe I had for a way that I could help the team win games. There wasn’t a wrong thing. There was no disrespect on either side. I think it was just time for both sides to move on.
Thielen also praised Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell for how they handled the decision.
It was a bummer. I didn’t want to leave Minnesota. I wanted to end my career there. Obviously, that would be the perfect fairy tale way to do it, right? But that’s not reality. I’m so thankful for that organization, [general manager] Kwesi (Adofo-Mensah) and (Kevin O’Connell) and the staff. The way they handled this throughout the process was first-class.
Thielen finished his career with 6,682 receiving yards and 55 touchdowns. Last season, Thielen totaled 716 yards and six touchdowns.
The Vikings chose to get younger at the position, selecting Jordan Addison in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire