Carolina Panthers WR Adam Thielen's influence
Adam Thielen didn't take long to stamp his mark on the Carolina Panthers. The veteran wide receiver remains a productive performer and he clearly has Frank Reich's ear when it comes to potential recruits, which is something further demonstrated by the trade for Ihmir Smith-Marsette shortly before he was going to be waived by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Smith-Marsette and Thielen were teammates on the Minnesota Vikings for one season before the former was let go. But it's clear the explosive playmaker left a good impression based on the glowing recommendation he received from the veteran before Carolina swapped conditional seventh-round selections in 2025 to bring him on board.
When discussing the acquisition and his influence on Carolina's eventual decision, Thielen highlighted the potential attached to Smith-Marsette as a primary reason behind his recommendation via the team's website.
"(He's) just a guy who's got big potential. Obviously, he showed it in the preseason. But his ability to make plays, not only when the ball's in the air but with the ball in his hands, and then his ability to be a punt returner and do a lot for this team. It's good to see him again. He's got a big personality, so it's always fun to see him."- Adam Thielen via Panthers.com
Hopefully, Smith-Marsette can repay this faith with production when it counts. Whether that'll be primarily as a kick returner or on the offensive rotation remains to be seen.