Panthers Snag Pro-Bowl Star Thielen: Carolina’s Offense Revamped?

The Carolina Panthers have added veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen to their roster, bolstering their offensive lineup following the trade of DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears. The Panthers inked a three-year deal with Adam Thielen, a source informed ESPN.

During his visit to Charlotte, Thielen met with the Panthers to explore free agency possibilities. Although he left without a contract, a source claimed there was mutual interest in reaching an agreement. The team also met with former Detroit Lions wide receiver DJ Chark, and there’s a possibility they might sign him as well.

Carolina’s returning wideouts, Terrace Marshall Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr., and Shi Smith, had a combined total of 77 catches last season. Thielen’s arrival adds a leadership dimension to the Panthers’ receiver lineup, a quality they sought even before Moore’s departure.

The Minnesota Vikings released Thielen after ten seasons, designating him a pre-June 1 cut to dodge his 2023 salary cap hit. A Minnesota native, Thielen played for Minnesota State Mankato before joining the Vikings in 2013. He rose from the practice squad to a special teams role and eventually became a two-time Pro Bowl selection as a star wideout.

Thielen, who turns 33 in August, had 70 catches for 716 yards and six touchdowns in the last season. However, his role diminished in the final five games as younger pass-catchers Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson, and K.J. Osborn took center stage. The Vikings signaled that Thielen would have a reduced role and a pay cut if he restructured his deal to stay with the team.

Throughout his career, Thielen has amassed 6,682 receiving yards and 55 touchdowns. His standout season was in 2018 when he caught 113 passes for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns. Thielen was also the Vikings’ Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee for 2022.