Diggs now sits at $14.4 million per year, nearly $10 million more per year than Thielen’s annual average of $4.8 million. Per a league source, Thielen and the Vikings talked about an adjusted deal in March. At this point, the thinking is that the sudden gap between Diggs and Thielen won’t be closed until after the 2018 season.
Thielen, who generated more receiving yards last season than any Vikings player not named Randy Moss or Cris Carter, signed his contract before a breakout season of 2017. And given that he was an undrafted free agent who wasn’t even invited to the Scouting Combine, it was impossible for Thielen to pass on a $4 million signing bonus, which was the first installment of a four-year deal worth more than $19 million, with $11 million guaranteed.
For a guy who could have been as low as No. 4 on the depth chart last year, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. Now, however, Thielen has three years remaining on his contract, and he has every reason to believe that a disparity exists.
It will be very interesting to see what the Vikings do with Thielen. As a guy who probably never expected to do much of anything in the NFL, every dollar he earns can be regarded as found money. But with Diggs finding his way into the top 10 at the position when he may not be the top option on his own team, it’s fair for Thielen to wonder if he’ll get a raise with time left on his current contract.