Carolina Panthers: 3 trade targets from the Minnesota Vikings

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Anthony Barr
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Anthony Barr /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /

Scouting Report. WR. 2. Pick Analysis. MINNESOTA VIKINGS. ADAM THIELEN. player. 60

Carolina Panthers trade target No. 2: Adam Thielen (WR)

Adam Thielen’s story is an inspirational one. The wide receiver was overlooked entering the league out of Minnesota State. And he grasped the opportunity to play for a team he has supported as a boy with both hands.

The Minnesota Vikings lost Stefon Diggs in a bombshell trade to the Buffalo Bills just before the 2020 NFL Draft. And they will be counting on Thielen to stay healthy and get back to the player of old next season.

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He did perform well despite a niggling hamstring injury keeping him on the sidelines for a considerable period. And he managed to record 418 yards and six touchdowns from just 30 receptions in 2019.

Minnesota’s salary cap situation looks grim next year, to put it mildly. The decrease in finances available is something that the organization has not accounted for. And this could see some high earners moved on as a result.

Thielen will make $4.8 million in base salary next season. But this will skyrocket to $11.1 million in 2021. It gets even worse after that thanks to the new deal he signed, which will pay him a $14 million base in the final year in 2024.

The Vikings do have an option to release Thielen at a cap saving of $18.84 million. This would be an intriguing option for the Carolina Panthers if slot receiver Curtis Samuel leaves in free agency.

Pairing Thielen with D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson would give Carolina arguably the NFL’s best receiving trio. The Pro Bowler seems like a superb fit in Joe Brady’s scheme. But it would hurt him deeply to leave his hometown organization.