EAGAN, Minn. – Adam Thielen and Tajaé Sharpe "met" for the first time on Friday, but as it turns out, the new teammates know each other pretty well already.
Sharpe, whom the Vikings signed as a free agent last week, and Thielen have yet to meet in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pair of receivers were officially introduced via Skype.
Thielen and Sharpe then took part in a trivia game in which they answered questions about one another. Although Chris Corso from the Minnesota Vikings Podcast tried to stump them, it seemingly couldn't be done.
Sharpe correctly selected Thielen's college and hometown from the multiple-choice options provided, and Thielen correctly answered Sharpe's nickname – Showtime – and the round in which he was drafted (fifth in 2016).
And as for jersey numbers? Well, that could just be awkward.
The two shared a laugh over the fact that they both have worn No. 19 for the duration of their NFL careers. Would Thielen consider giving the number up?
"For a lot of money," Thielen quipped.
"Well, the problem is, you've gotta buy out all the [Thielen] jerseys out there. There would be a lot of mad fans," he added.
But Vikings fans can rest easy, because Sharpe has no plans for requesting 19.
"That's his number," Sharpe said. "He earned that, so I'm going to have to switch it up."
The 25-year-old said he plans to wear No. 11 in Minnesota.
I wore 1 in college, so I think the 11 will fit me right," Sharpe said.
Thielen and Sharpe bonded – while social distancing – about their love for basketball and childhood aspirations to go pro on the hardwood.
View photos of WR Tajaé Sharpe who the Vikings agreed to terms on Wednesday.
Given the choices of Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan or Randy Moss, Thielen correctly guessed that Sharpe's favorite athlete growing up was Iverson. And further discussion revealed that Thielen and Sharpe each chose No. 3 as a youngsters playing basketball to play homage to the Hall of Fame hooper.
"For him to be so small and have that killer mentality, not being scared out there, obviously his skill set speaks for itself, but he was one of my idols growing up," Sharpe explained. "I thought I was going to be a basketball player, so I wanted to be just like Allen Iverson – with the headband, the little finger tape and everything he used to wear. The arm sleeve and all that. That was definitely my guy growing up."
Corso asked the receivers who would be the better basketball player, adding that tight end Kyle Rudolph might also want a say in the debate.
Thielen just laughed.
After five questions apiece, neither player had a mark against him.
Time for the bonus round.
Asked what color gloves Thielen prefers on game day, Sharpe didn't miss a beat in answering, "Yellow."
"I'm in tune, bro. I've been watching," Sharpe quipped. "I thought you were going to have a tough question."
On a more serious note, though, Sharpe explained to Vikings fans that he's had his eye on Thielen long before the two became teammates.
"I had all your routes and stuff on my playbook and my iPad last year, and I used to check you out every week – seeing the type of plays you and [Stefon] Diggs used to make," Sharpe told Thielen. "It's just exciting for me to be able to line up on the same field with you. It's going to be amazing."
The final bonus question went to Thielen: Which team did Sharpe play his first NFL game against?
Thielen called the question "too easy," recalling quickly that Sharpe's first career game was against the Vikings in the 2016 season opener.
Sharpe recounted that game, during which he racked up 76 yards on seven catches.
"The night before, I just had kind of those pre-game nerves, being a rookie, not knowing what to expect. I remember DeMarco Murray, he saw me in the elevator the night before, and he just asked me how I was feeling," Sharpe said. "I told him I was super nervous and everything, and he kind of calmed me down and just reminded me, 'It's just football.'
"Once I got out there on the field, Marcus [Mariota] found me on some plays early on, just gave me a little bit of confidence, and I wound up making a few plays in that game," he added. "That was awesome."
And while Thielen's stats may be a little more flashy, the Minnesota native has been impressed by Sharpe since day one.
He explained that he definitely took notice of Sharpe in Tennessee four years ago.
"That was when I was first like, 'Who the heck is this guy?' Then that's kind of the reason I've followed him since, because I saw that game," Thielen said.
"[I've definitely developed] a lot of respect for him and was excited to hear that he was joining the squad because I've seen what he can do," Thielen said. "Maybe the stats and things like that don't show what kind of player this guy is, but he can do it."