The 2023 NFL free agency period is firing off at a breakneck pace. While some players will return to their current teams, most players, especially the larger names, will look for a potential new landing spot, as is the case with WR Adam Thielen. As one of the biggest names at his position after being released by the Vikings, what are some possible landing spots for Thielen for the 2023 season?
Adam Thielen Agency Best Fits
One of the most reliable red-zone weapons in the league since 2020, Thielen is one of the biggest free agent names at his position following his release by the Vikings.
While fair to say Thielen is no longer in his prime, he is still an extremely valuable NFL player. In nine seasons with Minnesota, Thielen caught 534 passes for 6,682 yards and 55 touchdowns.
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In 2022, Thielen caught 70 passes for 716 yards and six touchdowns, which was one of his worst seasons. Yet, that be considered a successful year for many players out there.
Now Thielen can find the best fit for him and his skills while bringing a proven skill set to his new landing spot during free agency.
Thielen Would Be a Significant Boost for the New York Giants
Although much of the focus is on the other team in East Rutherford, the New York Giants hope to build off their recent success with Brian Daboll heading into his second year with the team. One of the priorities is to build a wide receiver room around Daniel Jones, who was just extended on a multi-year contract.
As noted above, Thielen did not have the best year, but even what was considered a disappointment placed him only eight yards behind Darius Slayton, who led the Giants in receiving yards.
Thielen does not profile as a No. 1 option, and quite frankly, I don’t think there is a No. 1 available in free agency. The Giants are also likely to draft a WR, possibly in the first round, but the leadership and proven play on the field from Thielen make the Giants one of the best fits when projecting landing spots during the 2023 free agency.
Should the Kansas City Chiefs Pursue Thielen in Free Agency?
Coming off the second Super Bowl victory of Patrick Mahomes’ young career, the Chiefs may look to reload at the wide receiver position. Mecole Hardman and JuJu Smith-Schuster are hitting the open market as free agents, and Kansas City will need to resupply their receiving room.
That’s not to say there is no talent on this roster; as we all know, there is already an abundance. Travis Kelce is arguably the greatest tight end of all time, and both Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Kadarius Toney were serviceable in 2022. Additionally, there are still high hopes and expectations for 2022 rookie WR Skyy Moore.
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One of the craftiest route runners in the NFL, Thielen, in an Andy Reid offense with Mahomes throwing the ball, is a tantalizing prospect and one that has to be labeled as a “best fit” for the veteran WR.
Assuming he wants to chase a title that has alluded him, who better to sign with than the defending Super Bowl champions (so long as they can make the salary cap work)?
Could the Buffalo Bills Be an Option for Thielen?
Following another disappointing exit in the playoffs, the Bills must prioritize giving Josh Allen more weapons. Although Gabe Davis has shown some flashes in his three years, he’s ultimately proven to become too inconsistent to be a reliable No. 2 option to Stefon Diggs.
If anyone has shown their ability to be one of the best No. 2s in the NFL, it’s Thielen. Not only has he been doing that with the No. 1 receiver in the league, Justin Jefferson, but he and Stefon Diggs had the exact same role together in Minnesota.
While I am bullish about the outlook for players like Isaiah McKenzie, and especially Khalil Shakir, no player available on the market is more proven than Thielen. The Bills are in a win-now window, and adding Thielen in free agency would help maximize their chances of not only competing in the AFC but helping them close the gap to teams like Cincinnati and Kansas City.
Thielen Could Be an Enticing Option for the Dallas Cowboys
Another team I consider a “best fit” for Thielen during free agency is the Dallas Cowboys. After a second consecutive season ended in a disappointing playoff loss to the 49ers, the Cowboys need to improve their consistency on offense.
The losses of Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson Jr. were apparent in the passing game, as for the majority of the season, CeeDee Lamb was the only viable receiving option. A torn ACL the year prior hampered Michael Gallup’s campaign, and rookie Jalen Tolbert failed to make a significant impact on the roster.
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Although this is a team that we have lauded in the past for its depth of playmakers, outside of Dak Prescott and Lamb, the only other reliable weapons are TE Dalton Schultz and RB Tony Pollard. That won’t cut it in the NFC East, which might be the most competitive division in the NFL.
It has been widely discussed that the Cowboys are very interested in free agent WR Odell Beckham Jr. and have been since last season. But health is a concern. While his workout likely helped quell some doubts, it does not answer every question. The safer option, and potentially the one with the most significant return, would be Thielen.
Available on a reasonable contract based on estimated market values, Thielen could be a very productive No. 2 and even accelerate the growth of Lamb in the process.