Kirk Cousins is going to have his favorite target in Minnesota for a long time.
As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, WR Adam Thielen and the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms on four-year, $64 million contract extension. The deal includes $35 million in guaranteed money and $9 million in additional performance incentives. In total, the contract maxes out at a value of $73 million.
This extension will add four additional years on top of the four-year extension signed by Thielen back in March of 2017. As a result, Thielen is slated to make his previously agreed upon $8 million in 2019 and $6.5 million in 2020, before earning an average $16 million per year through the 2024 season.
This deal makes Adam Thielen one of the NFL’s highest-paid receivers, and deservedly so. Thielen’s contract ties Kansas City Chiefs’ wideout Sammy Watkins for sixth highest among receivers for average annual value.
Thielen, 28, who originally signed with the Vikings in 2013 as an undrafted free agent, has quickly become one of the most exciting and impressive wide receivers in the NFL. In his meteoric rise, Thielen has posted back to back 1,000 receiving yard seasons in which he averaged 13-plus yards per reception.
In a career best season in 2018, Thielen recorded 113 receptions for 1,373 yards, nine touchdowns and set an NFL record as the first player to start the season with eight consecutive 100-plus receiving yard games. For his efforts, Thielen was selected to consecutive Pro Bowls in 2017 and 2018.
The deal between Thielen and the Vikings should come as no surprise to fans who have paid attention to both parties very public discussions throughout this offseason.
Back in February, Thielen’s agent, Blake Baratz of Team IFA, had informed local radio stations of his interest in signing a deal prior to the start of the 2019 season. Baratz told the hosts of ESPN Affiliate Purple Daily, “No one’s being greedy. Everyone understands the situation and it’s really in their court. He has a couple of years left on his deal, but he’s earned a significant pay raise. Not to mention what he’s done on the field, he might be one of the best people in the entire National Football League and represents the city and the organization and state and, frankly, the entire region unbelievably.”
Two months later it would appear that Minnesota agreed with the sentiments expressed by the Thielen camp. With his new deal, Thielen now joins fellow superstar wide receiver Stefon Diggs, on a long list of franchise players under contract in Minnesota through at least the 2022 season.
Following the announcement of the deal, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins tweeted his excitement, “I’ll sleep great tonight knowing Adam is back for the next 6 seasons. Congrats @athielen19, happy for you…see you Monday!”