Rumors ahead of the Nov. 3 trade deadline have signaled another mass exodus of Vikings veterans that helped lift the franchise into NFL relevancy through the latter half of the past decade.
Among the players circulating through the water cooler conversations is Minnesota’s pride and joy, Adam Thielen. It’s been confirmed that Thielen was mentioned in trade talks between the Ravens and Vikings during the Yannick Ngakoue trade, CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora reported.
Several Browns bloggers and social media figures have touted that Thielen has been a talking point between the Browns and Vikings and it does make sense. The Browns, under former Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, are 5-2 and look poised to contend this season. They just lost their No. 1 wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., to a season-ending ACL injury last week. Thielen’s superb route running would be an ideal replacement for Beckham along with the correspondence with Stefanski.
But one NFL insider put those rumors to rest.
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A Vikings Coach Openly Laughed at the Suggestion
NFL reporter Benjamin Allbright addressed the rumors that an undisclosed Vikings coach laughed at the trade possibility.
No. And a Vikings coach openly laughed at the suggestion. https://t.co/Tr6vcFCQYE
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) October 28, 2020
Thielen inked a four-year $64 million contract extension in 2017 and rewarded the Vikings with his two best seasons. Thielen earned Pro Bowl nods in 2017 and 2018, his only 1,000-plus receiving yard seasons.
Last year, Thielen suffered a hamstring injury that held him out of six games last season on an otherwise spotless and healthy career. He is under contract until 2025 and has proved this season that coming off an injury at the age of 30 has not slowed him down. Thielen has caught 32 passes for 415 yards and a league-leading seven touchdowns.
Trade Talks Could Be Ongoing
Thielen’s potential safety from going to the Browns does not count out that the teams have been in contact.
They had been shopping for safeties during the past offseason and had an interest in Anthony Harris. Harris has not been mentioned often approaching the trade deadline amid but other Vikings veterans have.
La Canfora reported that multiple league executives have been in contact with the Vikings and “believe the team is eager to move several more high-priced veterans who likely do not fit into the team’s long-term plans.”
General manager Rick Spielman has downplayed the fire sale following the Ngakoue trade, however, La Canfora’s report, which includes testimonies from team executives, says otherwise.
“They want to move on from some guys for sure but not the guys we want,” one GM told La Canfora. “They want to cut payroll but I don’t know how successful they’ll be with that.”
The Vikings have kept their poker face but more moves could be on the horizon for the franchise.
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Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.