While Adam Thielen and the Vikings agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension last week, the deal did not become official until this afternoon. Shortly after it did, the receiver joined Minnesota media on a conference call to talk about what the deal means to him, getting this kind of security four years after earning a roster spot via a tryout.
“I really haven’t had a whole lot of time to reflect because I’m so focused on the future and making sure that I continue to come into camp every year a little bit better than I did the year before,” Thielen said.
He did note, though, that he won’t have to worry about earning a roster spot this summer, allowing him to focus solely on self-improvement.
Before agreeing to terms on his extension, which includes $11 million guaranteed, the Vikings retained his rights as a restricted free agent, so he could have played 2017 on a one-year, $2.8 million deal.
“The toughest part was just not knowing what was going to happen, whether I was going to have to play on a one-year deal or whether we were going to get something worked out,” he said. “It really wasn’t too stressful for me. I was just focused on my family and training.”
The 26-year-old Detroit Lakes native has spent the past four years proving that he belongs in the NFL. His career season in 2016, when he caught 69 passes for 967 yards and five TDs, showed that he indeed does.
So now what is he going to do to motivate himself going forward?
“There’s a lot of unfinished business for me personally and as a team,” he said. “There’s a lot of motivation in … that I think there’s still a lot of people that don’t believe in me. And obviously I love proving people wrong.”