The once-undrafted player has become one of the NFL’s best receivers and the Vikings want to keep him in the fold for the long term.
The Minnesota Vikings have locked down receiver Adam Thielen to a four-year, $64 million contract extension, with escalators potentially increasing its value to $73 million, his agency revealed on Instagram on Friday and which the Vikings subsequently confirmed.
The 28-year-old wideout from Minnesota State, Mankato joined the Vikings in 2014 but began his breakout in 2017, when he started 10 games and caught 69 passes for 967 yards and five touchdowns. He tallied 91 catches for 1,276 yards and four scores in 2017 and eclipsed the 100-catch mark in 2018, with 113 grabs worth 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns. Thielen is also a two-time Pro Bowler and is the first player in league history with eight straight games with 100 or more receiving yards per game, earning the honor in 2018.
As the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo points out, Thielen has two years remaining on the four-year, $19.246 million deal he signed in 2017. The new extension is tacked onto those two remaining years, making him effectively under contract to the Vikings for the next six years at a minimum total cost of $77.5 million granted he plays out the entirety of the deal (which, as we know, is not quite frequent in the NFL). Garofolo’s colleague, Ian Rapoport, added that Thielen will receive $35 million in guarantees, a top-10 figure in guaranteed money for receivers.
Thielen is a key piece of a Vikings’ passing game that features quarterback Kirk Cousins, fellow receiver Stefon Diggs and tight end Kyle Rudolph. And for his recent production, he was also woefully underpaid. This is still a deal for the Vikings, but also gets Thielen much closer to his market value as one of the best and most reliable receivers in the NFL.