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Fan-favorite Vikings wideout Adam Thielen is getting a change of scenery after playing in Minnesota since 2013. However, the move isn’t much of an upgrade for the vet.
Thielen is joining the offensive rebuild in Carolina, signing with the Panthers to a three-year deal, announced Sunday by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Thielen will be joining a major transitionoary season for the Panthers. Heading into the 2023-24 season, the Panthers will have a new coach in Frank Reich and the first-overall draft pick.
Thielen Joins Overhaul Of Offense
Journeyman QB Andy Dalton is currently at the top of the depth chart, but the team is fully expected to draft a QB at No. 1, which has been a two-horse battle between Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.
In their blockbuster trade to acquire the top pick, Carolina split with No. 1 wide receiver D.J. Moore. Carolina’s front office appears keen on filling in the talent gap through free agency.
As a salary cap move in early March, Minnesota released Thielen — putting the fiery wideout out on the market.
Considering Thielen’s age at 32, it’s a major win for the wideout to have secured a three-year committment from Carolina. The two-time Pro Bowler will be spearheading a thin wide receivers unit in Carolina that includes Terrace Marshall, Laviska Shenault and Shi Smith.
Thielen was an effective weapon in Minnesota for a decade. He enjoyed WR1-type production from 2017 to 2018 but also held his own as a productive secondary receiver for the offense.
Thielen’s 14 receiving touchdowns in 2020 were the second-most in Vikings franchise history, sitting behind Randy Moss’ 17 scores in 2000.
The Panthers were also rumored to be interested in signing former Jacksonville Jaguar D.J. Chark. He previously played with Laviska Shenault in Duval County for two seasons.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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