The Vikings most consistent receiver, Adam Thielen, is set to become a free agent this off-season and it’s going to come with some sticker shock but the Vikings need to match any offer another team makes for him. One could argue that Thielen was quarterback Sam Bradford’s most consistent security blanket in 2016, and to make that argument, let’s start by looking back at where he ended up among NFL receivers in 2016. With 967 yards he finished 27th in yards for a team that finished 18th in the NFL in passing yards, nice job Adam! He scored 5 touchdowns, not a huge number but it put him tied with names like Amari Cooper, James White and Tyler Eifert and for a Vikings receiver, it’s also not bad. He averaged 60.4 yards per game just .8 yards behind Dez Bryant! When you add the chemistry he has built with future Super Bowl quarter back Sam Bradford he has made himself very important to this team. He was our most consistent route runner week in and week out, especially with the teams “Number one” receiver in Stefon Diggs missing games due to injury and also seemingly disappearing at points during the season.
Now with the declining salaries for running backs and increased pay for receivers re-signing Thielen is going to seem like a lot on money, but technically I do believe that he has earned a salary worthy of a receiver that is ranked 30th best in the league. Which I put at, drum roll… Four to six million per season. We all need to keep in mind that these are the times we live in now, Jarius Wright has the NFL’s 40th highest cap number for receivers in the NFL this year at $3.1 million and Travis Benjamin has the 26th highest cap hit at $6.5 million just to give you some context. Now if I was Slick Rick I would aim on the lower end of range and offer something around three to four million, not too low to upset Mr. Thielen then let him search for other offers. But if that does end up happening (And that’s highly likely), then Spielman definitely needs to match any offer!
Fortunately, I personally don’t believe that Thielen (Or the Vikings, really) got enough national attention last season, which should work in the team’s favor, as he’s not that well known so there might not be a crazy bidding war. But, these are the Vikings so you never know. I guess we’ll just have to wait until the second week in march and just hope Rick and I are on the same page.