Cronin says it was a simple base salary to signing bonus conversion that lowers Thielen’s cap hit from $13.468 million in 2021 to $5.698 million.
Thielen, 30, wound up signing on with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of Minnesota State-Mankato back in 2013. He spent his rookie season on the Vikings’ practice squad before returning to the team on a future/reserve contract the following year.
Minnesota brought Thielen back for the 2015 season on a one-year exclusive rights deal before signing him to a four-year, $19.240 million contract that included $11 million guaranteed in 2017.
Thielen was set to make base salaries of $5.85 million and $5.35 million before agreeing to a four-year extension in 2019 worth as much as $73 million.
In 2020, Thielen appeared in 15 games for the Vikings and caught 74 passes for 925 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns. He also rushed three times for 15 yards.