Adam Thielen

Vikings, Adam Thielen Agree To Extension

The Vikings and star wideout Adam Thielen have agreed to a four-year, $64MM extension with a maximum value of $73MM, per Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune. He will earn $35MM in guaranteed money. We heard last month that the two sides were working on a new deal, and they were able to hammer out an agreement that pays Thielen at a rate commensurate with his abilities and recent production.

Thielen had two years and $13.5MM remaining on his present contract, so as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network tweets, it appears as if he is now under team control for the next six seasons at a $77.5MM base value. Ian Rapoport of tweets that Thielen will receive $35MM in guaranteed money.

Of course, extensions can be difficult to come by when a player has more than one year remaining on his contract, but Thielen is not just any player. An undrafted Division II product, Thielen has put together back-to-back 1,200-plus-yard seasons, going for 1,373 and a career-high nine touchdown receptions in 2018. He watched teammate Stefon Diggs sign a five-year, $72MM extension with $40MM guaranteed last summer, and now he has leapfrogged Diggs in terms of average annual value (he is now the sixth-highest paid WR in the league in that regard).

Thielen, who will turn 29 in August, has earned Pro Bowl nods in each of the last two seasons, and he figures to be a critical part of the team’s fortunes going forward. He was due to carry an $8.1MM cap hit this season, but that will likely be reduced as a result of the extension.

His deal continues the Vikings’ trend of locking up core players before they can taste free agency. The team now has a foundation of Thielen, Diggs, Danielle Hunter, Linval Joseph, Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Harrison Smith, Riley Reiff, Shamar Stephen, and Mike Hughes under contract through at least 2021 (hat tip to ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter).

Thielen will address the media tomorrow.

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Vikings, Adam Thielen Discussing Extension

Attempting to correct an imbalance that has developed over the past two years, the Vikings and wide receiver Adam Thielen are discussing a possible extension, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (on Twitter).

At this juncture, however, sources tell Tomasson that it’s impossible to say whether something will be ironed out soon. Thielen is criminally underpaid, but extensions tend to be tricky when players have two years left on their deal.

In 2017, Thielen signed what turned out to be an incredibly team-friendly deal to stay in Minnesota. That contract pays him less than $5MM on average, though the Pro Bowl wideout will earn just more than $5MM in base salaries the next two seasons. However, Minnesota then rewarded No. 2 receiver Stefon Diggs a five-year, $72MM extension with $40MM guaranteed, creating a strange situation among their wideout group.

An undrafted Division II product, Thielen has put together back-to-back 1,200-plus-yard seasons, going for 1,373 and a career-high nine touchdown receptions in 2018. Minnesota has inked plenty of homegrown veterans to extensions in recent years and has just $5MM in cap space left. So while the Vikings might not be too active in free agency, it appears they are trying to do right by their 28-year-old pass-catcher success story.

Although Thielen has expressed a desire for a new deal, he is not believed to be a threat to hold out. So perhaps the parties can work together this offseason to correct this imbalance.

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Vikings’ Adam Thielen Wants New Deal

Adam Thielen is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. He’s also among the most underpaid players in the league. Thielen’s agent, Blake Baratz, says he’s optimistic about getting an extension hammered out this offseason, but added that his client will not engage in a holdout. 

Adam’s not that type of person,” Baratz told SKOR (via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin). “I would never condone a player to hold out or be disruptive if it wasn’t for a very valid reason, and [what’s not] a valid reason, to me, is both sides working in good faith to come to a conclusion that makes sense for everybody.”

Without a holdout, it’s hard to see the Vikings caving. Thielen’s under-market extension has him under contract for just $5.85MM in base salary this season and $6.5MM in 2020. Often times, teams elect to hold off on extension talks until the final season, meaning that the 28-year-old (29 in August) may have to play out one more season at a bargain rate before pushing for a new deal.

This team has a lot of really good things in place for it, and I know they want to take care of Adam and I know they want Adam there and I know they want to reward Adam,” Baratz said.

Thielen followed up his 91/1,276/4 line in 2017 with a 113/1,373/9 stat line in 2018. The Vikings disappointed on the whole in 2018, but Theilen had an exceptional year en route to his second-straight Pro Bowl appearance.

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Notable 2019 Pro Bowl Incentives/Escalators

The NFL announced the 2018 Pro Bowl rosters earlier on Wednesday, and aside from determining which players will spend a week in Orlando early next year, the rosters also dictate several important bonuses and/or contract escalators for individual players. Former NFL agent and current contributor Joel Corry has rounded up the notable incentives earned, and we’ll pass those along below. As Corry notes (Twitter link), only first ballot Pro Bowlers who actually participate in the game (unless injured or playing in the Super Bowl) are in bonuses, which are typically paid out by the end of March.

Here are the notable Pro Bowl bonuses and escalators that were netted last evening (all links to Corry’s Twitter):


  • Ravens S Eric Weddle$1MM; requires Baltimore in playoffs (link): For the second consecutive season, Weddle’s bonus will ride on the ability of the Ravens to earn a postseason berth. Baltimore is one of several teams in the mix for the AFC’s No. 6 seed, but FiveThirtyEight gives the club only a 41% chance of actually making the playoffs. Weddle, who will be entering his age-34 campaign in 2019, could potentially retire or be released before next season starts.
  • Chargers C Mike Pouncey, $500K (link): Pouncey somewhat surprisingly earned a Pro Bowl nod alongside his brother, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey. Mike Pouncey hasn’t been a terrible player by any means, but Raiders center Rodney Hudson has undoubtedly been better. Signed to a two-year contract this offeason, Pouncey is due a $6MM base salary and a $1.5MM roster bonus in 2019.
  • Vikings WR Adam Thielen, $500K (link): Thielen, notably, signed arguably the most team-friendly contract in the NFL in March 2017, a three-year deal that’s worth less than $20MM. By picking up a half-million dollar Pro Bowl bonus, Thielen will collect a bit more cash, but he’s still vastly underpaid. Second in the league in receptions, Thielen will count just $11.5MM total on the Vikings’ salary cap over the next two years.
  • Eagles TE Zach Ertz, $100K (link): Ertz will also see his base salaries increase by $250K in each of the 2019, 2020, and 2021 campaigns. He’s already surpassed career-highs in both receptions and yardage, and could top his career-high of eight touchdowns with a strong showing down the stretch.


  • Chiefs T Eric Fisher, $500K base salary increase in 2019 (link): While Fisher hasn’t necessarily lived up to his status as a former No. 1 overall pick, he has played nearly every offensive snap for the Chiefs over the past six years while offering respectable play. He’s signed through 2021 as part of a four-year, $48MM extension he inked in 2016. Kansas City’s best tackle — Mitchell Schwartz, who mans the right side — has somehow been named second-team All-Pro for three consecutive years without ever being given a Pro Bowl nod.
  • Lions CB Darius Slay, $550K base salary increase in 2019 (link): Slay needed to reach two of three thresholds in order to earn his escalator. While he hasn’t yet met a five interception requirement, he was named to the Pro Bowl and has played on at least 80% of the Lions’ defensive snaps.
  • Packers WR Davante Adams, $250K base salary increase in 2019 (link): While he’s not quite at Thielen-level in terms of selling himself short, Adams arguably signed his extension with the Packers well before he needed to. Adams took a four-year, $58MM deal in December 2017, just months before he was scheduled to hit the open market. He’s vaunted to true No. 1 wideout status this year, but he’s just the NFL’s ninth-highest-paid wideout in terms of annual average.
  • Eagles G Brandon Brooks, $250K base salary increase in 2019-2020 (link): Brooks, 29, is quietly one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL, and Pro Football Focus currently grades him as the No. 5 guard in the league. He’s signed through the 2020 season, although his contract does contain two void years in 2021-22 that are in place only for salary cap purposes.

North Rumors: Bears, Nagy, Ravens, Vikings

It’s still unclear if Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will be available to face the Giants on Sunday, but Chicago is confident Trubisky’s shoulder injury won’t turn into a long-term issue, as Jeff Dickerson of tweets. Trubisky missed the Bears’ Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Lions, but Chicago was still able to manage a victory with backup Chase Daniel under center. The Bears have a 98% chance of earning a postseason berth and an 83% chance to win the NFC North, so they may not want to risk Trubisky’s health in what could be another easy win against New York. Trubisky did practice on Wednesday, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link), although it was in a limited fashion.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • While Trubisky might be healthy enough to play on Sunday, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco almost certainly won’t be ready for Week 13. Flacco, who is still dealing with a hip issue that has cost him two games, didn’t practice on Wednesday and appears likely to sit out Sunday, per Jamison Hensley of (Twitter link). First-round rookie Lamar Jackson, who has led Baltimore to two victories in his first two starts, figures to be under center again when the Ravens take on the Falcons. Meanwhile, offensive lineman James Hurst returned to practice on Wednesday after being sidelined since mid-October, reports Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Matt Nagy will lead the Bears against the Giants on Sunday, but New York never showed any interest in hiring him as a head coach during the offseason, as he told reporters — including Ryan Dunleavy of (Twitter link) — on Wednesday. That’s in line with PFR’s 2018 Head Coaching Search Tracker, which shows Nagy only interviewed with the Colts and Bears. The Giants, meanwhile, met with Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia, Steve Wilks, Eric Studesville, and Steve Spagnuolo before hiring Pat Shurmur. Nagy, for his part, could take home Coach of the Year depending on how Chicago’s season ends.
  • Speaking of current Bears coaches, Chicago is worried it could lose defensive coordinator Vic Fangio this offseason, as Jay Glazer of The Athletic writes. Fangio has interviewed for two head positions in the past, but both have been with clubs that already employed him (Bears in 2018, 49ers in 2015). While he didn’t land either of those gigs, Fangio could be in line to move into a head coaching role after that’s currently ranked first in DVOA by a relatively wide margin. As Glazer writes, however, Fangio’s age (60) could work against him as many clubs are searching for younger coaches.
  • By going over the 100-catch mark on Sunday, Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen triggered an escalator in his contract, tweets Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Thielen, who inked an incredibly team-friendly extension last spring, will now see his 2019 base salary increase from $3.85MM to $5.85MM. If he tops 90 receptions in 2019, Thielen will boost his 2020 salary from $5.35MM to $7.35MM.

NFC Notes: D. Johnson, D. Williams, Thielen

Although it was not expected that the two sides would be able to come to terms before the start of the season, the Cardinals and David Johnson agreed to a three-year extension yesterday that will keep Johnson in the desert through 2021. Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the key to getting the deal done was the team’s agreement to give Johnson a short-term extension that gives him a chance to hit free agency again at a time when a new CBA will be in place and when owners’ income streams will be at an all-time high thanks to renewed TV deals and gambling revenue.

As Week 1 gets underway in earnest, let’s take a look at more news from around the NFC:

  • Former NFL agent Joel Corry is less optimistic about Johnson’s chances to cash in a second time. Although he thinks the Cardinals‘ tailback did well for himself with his new deal, he points out (via Twitter) that Johnson will be 30 by the time he is eligible for unrestricted free agency again, so he will need to defy conventional wisdom concerning RBs to get another big contract.
  • Just last month, it appeared as though the Panthers would have to place starting right tackle Daryl Williams on IR, but Carolina finally got some good news with respect to its O-line. Ian Rapoport of tweets that Williams has a good chance to start the team’s opener against the Cowboys this afternoon, and that the structural damage to his injured knee is minimal. That is good news for Williams as well, as he is eligible for unrestricted free agency at the end of the year.
  • Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen has a number of incentives that could boost his $4.85MM 2018 salary, but even if he hits all of those incentives, Thielen will still be significantly underpaid relative to the WR market. Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune details the incentives and suggests that, if Thielen performs in 2018 has he did in 2017, his reps could approach Minnesota about redoing his current contract, which runs through 2020.
  • Eagles QB Carson Wentz could return to action in Week 3.
  • Cowboys DE Randy Gregory could be suspended yet again after suffering a relapse.

Vikings’ Adam Thielen Has Back Fractures

Although he’s expected to play against the Eagles in tonight’s NFC Championship Game, Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen had been listed as questionable throughout the week due to a back injury. That ailment is reportedly more serious than originally thought, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link).Adam Thielen (Vertical)

Thielen is dealing with slight fractures in his lower back which are — unsurprisingly — “extremely” painful, per Rapoport. The injury was suffered on a hit by Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore in last week’s Divisional Round contest. While pain tolerance could seemingly be an issue for Thielen during today’s game, he’s expected to manage the discomfort in order to play.

One of the more notable receiver breakout stories in recent memory, Thielen played in all 16 of Minnesota’s regular-season games and suited up for the Vikings’ thrilling walk-off win last Sunday. The 27-year-old Division II product landed on the NFC Pro Bowl roster after a 91-reception, 1,276-yard, four-touchdown slate. He missed practice on Wednesday and went through a limited session Thursday.

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Thielen, Sendejo Expected To Play Vs. Eagles

The Vikings have not let key injuries at quarterback or running back deter them this season, and their top wide receiver is set to be available in the franchise’s biggest game in eight years Sunday night.

Adam Thielen will play despite being listed as questionable due to a lower back injury, Adam Schefter of reports. Starting safety Andrew Sendejo will join him in playing despite a recent injury, per Schefter.

One of the more notable receiver breakout stories in recent memory, Thielen played in all 16 of Minnesota’s regular-season games and suited up for the Vikings’ thrilling divisional-round walk-off win. The 27-year-old Division II product landed on the NFC Pro Bowl roster after a 91-reception, 1,276-yard, four-touchdown slate. He missed practice on Wednesday and went through a limited session Thursday.

Sendejo still needs to clear final concussion protocol to play Sunday night, but Schefter reports he’s anticipated to do so. Mike Zimmer said this week he’s optimistic the veteran Harrison Smith sidekick will play; Sendejo returned to practice on Wednesday despite leaving a concussion sidelining him during the Vikings’ Round 2 win.

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Vikings Re-Sign WR Adam Thielen

The Vikings have re-signed restricted free agent Adam Thielen. The wide receiver gets a three-year deal from Minnesota, according to’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Thielen can make up to $27MM over those three years, a source tells Mike Garafolo of (on Twitter). The deal carries a base value of $17MM and includes $11MM guaranteed. "<strong

Initially, the Vikings placed a second-round tender on Thielen, which was probably about right for a player at his level. The receiver racked up 967 receiving yards last year after totaling 281 in his previous two NFL campaigns. The second-round tender would have paid him $2.81MM and, of course, forced another team to cough up a second-round choice if successful in signing Thielen away. We did not hear word of any team considering an offer sheet, however.

Theilen now returns to the Vikings one day after Cordarrelle Patterson was lured away in free agency. Stefon Diggs, Jairus Wright, Laquon Treadwell, and Isaac Fruechte remain with the team. Even without Patterson, the Vikings have one of the league’s most fearsome groups of wide receivers on paper.

In other Vikings news, the team re-signed cornerback Terence Newman on Wednesday morning.

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Vikings Expected To Apply Second-Round Tender To Adam Thielen

Adam Thielen‘s breakout 2016 season looks set to generate a reward for the fourth-year wide receiver while making him less attractive to other teams as free agency nears. The Vikings are expected to place a second-round tender on Thielen, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (on Twitter).

Tomasson adds that a near-future extension is still possible for Thielen, who emerged with 967 receiving yards last season after totaling 281 in his previous two NFL seasons. The second-round tender is slated to be worth $2.81MM. The 26-year-old pass-catcher made $600K last season. Thielen’s agent, Blake Baratz, said in February the wideout has his eye on an extension to stay in Minnesota long-term. Baratz would still expect teams to pursue Thielen even if it costs teams draft compensation.

“They have the ability to do right by him, and [Thielen has] far exceeded anyone’s expectations,” Baratz said of the Vikings. “They don’t have any money invested in their wide receivers, and we can figure out something to do that’s right — this week, next week, the following week, March, April. Every day that gets closer to the end of next season without a deal in place, the pendulum just continues to swing Adam’s way.”

Nevertheless, the former Division II wide receiver could be an unlikely name on the 2018 UFA market, provided no extension is agreed to — if he can replicate the quality work he did in 2016. Thielen’s five touchdown receptions were four more than he posted in his career coming into last season. On a second-round tender, Thielen would represent the Vikings’ second-highest cap figure among receivers. Jarius Wright‘s $3.138MM number tops the group presently.

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