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Report: “Real possibility” Vikings move on from Adam Thielen in coming days

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Mike Florio and Chris Simms are joined by Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell to examine the new energy he instilled in Minnesota and how to get Kirk Cousins to play at his best in the biggest moments.

A month ago, Adam Thielen acknowledged that the Vikings might be moving on from him entering 2023 given his large cap hit.

As the new league year approaches, that’s looking a little more likely.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports on Thursday that there’s a “real possibility” the Vikings will “part ways” with Thielen in the coming days.

Minnesota restructured Thielen’s contract last year. He’s under contract for two more seasons, but he’s set to count nearly $20 million against the cap in 2023.

If the Vikings were to cut Thielen, they could use a post-June 1 designation to spread out the cap hit over the next few seasons. If they do, they’d save $13.4 million against the cap in 2023 with $6.6 million in dead money. If they don’t use a post-June 1 designation, Minnesota would save $6.4 million against the cap with $13.6 million in dead money.

By making it known that they’re willing to move on from Thielen now, the Vikings could also find a trade partner before the new league year begins.

Thielen turns 33 in August. He caught 70 passes for 716 yards with six touchdowns in 2022.

Thielen entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and became an offensive contributor in 2014 but he didn’t break out until 2016 with a 69-catch, 967-yard season. He’s No. 4 on the franchise’s all-time list with 6,682 receiving yards, No. 3 with 534 receptions, and No. 3 with 55 touchdown receptions.