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The Panthers Pounce On Elite Former Vikings Receiver For 2023

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

The Carolina Panthers are making moves at the wide receiver position. The Carolina Panthers added former Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen on a three-year, $25 million deal. He will make ten million in his first year, per Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

Minnesota released Thielen on March tenth after nine seasons with the team. The move instantly helps the Panthers with their current wide receiver woes after getting rid of the talented top receiver, DJ Moore, for the number one draft pick in this year’s upcoming NFL Draft.

The Panthers Are Hooked On A Thielen

Although Thielen is no longer valued as a number-one receiver, he’s still dependable on the field. Last season, the wideout had 70 receptions (37th), 716 receiving yards (50th), and six touchdowns (24th).

Thielen played the number two role behind Justin Jefferson. Moreover, Thielen has the most experience in the wide receiver corp in Charlotte. Carolina’s WR Corps features Terrace Marshall Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr., and Preston Williams.

The Panthers’ deal with Adam makes him more than likely the top receiver during his first year with the team. The former pro bowler will become a security blanket for the team. The panthers needed someone with excellent route-running skills.

Carolina is making key additions to their offense. Before adding Thielen, the Panthers said Hayden Hurst, TE, and Miles Sanders, RB, from the defending NFC Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles. Sanders was signed to a four-year, $25.4 million deal.

After releasing PJ Walker and Sam Darnold, the Panthers also added Andy Dalton as a backup quarterback. Frank Reich is drafting a quarterback with the number one overall pick.

Thielen Shades The Broncos and Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys were in the mix for landing the veteran wide receiver Thielen. The 32-year-old was one of the most notable names in the free agency frenzy after being released by the Vikings. Adam had conversations with the Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys before choosing the Carolina Panthers during his time in free agency. “There was the Broncos, Cowboys. I had conversations with those teams and a few others,” Thielen said during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show.

Thielen didn’t initially plan to join the Panthers but said it felt like the best fit. It was best for him because the deal he got from the Panthers was massive. The Cowboys would’ve signed the receiver to a one-year contract in Dallas instead of three years like the Panthers.

In addition, the receiver stated that the Panthers could be contenders in the Super Bowl. If the player talks about the potential to get to the promised land, it is enough to excite the fans. That excitement can swing as momentum in the locker room. Thielen is sharing the spotlight with young receivers, so he would have to step up as the number one if he wants to impact the game.

Farewell Minnesota

Adam Thielen’s only seen two 1,000-receiving-yard seasons with his last being in 2018. In both 2017 and 2018, Thielen didn’t see double digits in touchdowns. In 2018, Thielen became the third-highest in franchise history in receptions in a season (113).

He also had eight consecutive games with over 100 receiving yards and 74 receptions in the first half of the season. In 2019, Thielen battled a hamstring injury, costing him six games. In 2020, the wideout had a breakout year with double-digits in touchdowns (14). The following year he followed with another season with double-digit touchdowns (ten).

According to PFF, in Thielen’s final year with the Vikings, he had 103 targets (28th) and averaged 10.2 receiving yards per catch. In Thielen’s tenure with the Vikings, the ten-year veteran finished with 534 receptions, 778 targets, 6,682 receiving yards, and 55 touchdowns. Thielen is looking to set new records with either CJ Stroud, Bryce Young, or Anthony Richardson.

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