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Freshly Signed Adam Thielen: Vikings Have 'Unfinished Business' on Field

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —The "dotted line" business has been accomplished, and now it's back to the "between the lines" business for Adam Thielen.

The Vikings wide receiver signed a multiyear contract with his home-state team that was officially announced on Tuesday.

Minnesota had placed a second-round tender on Thielen when free agency began but wanted to bring back the former undrafted rookie (2013) for several more seasons.

Another team could have made an offer, but the Vikings would have been able to match, or they would have received compensation if they couldn't match another offer.

The former Detroit Lakes and Minnesota State University, Mankato star said during a conference call on Tuesday that he maintained focus on boosting his game while his agent negotiated the deal.

"I really wouldn't say it was stressful for me," Thielen explained. "I think the toughest part is just not knowing what was going to happen, whether I was going to have to play out a one-year deal or whether we were going to get something worked out.

"I was really just focused on my family, obviously, and training," Thielen continued, "making sure that I'm coming in next year that no matter what deal I have, I'm coming in the best shape and the best football player I can be."

Thielen spent all of 2013 on the Vikings practice squad and cracked the lineup for the first time in 2014. He caught eight passes for 137 yards and a touchdown that season and blocked a punt that he returned for a touchdown against Carolina on Nov. 30, 2014.

He followed with 12 catches for 144 yards and four carries for 89 yards, doing the brunt of his damage on the ground with a 41-yard scamper on a fake punt to help Minnesota win the NFC North in the 2015 regular-season finale at Green Bay.

This past season, Thielen leapt up the depth chart. He started 10 of the 16 games he played and recorded career highs of 69 receptions, 967 yards and five scores. The Minnesotan again struck across the border when he caught 12 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns on Dec. 24, 2016.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was asked about Thielen — and multiple other topics — by Paul Allen on KFAN's 9 to Noon Show on Tuesday. 

"He's an extremely hard worker and is very, very competitive," Zimmer said. "He catches the ball … when he gets opportunities, he makes plays.

"Probably the best thing that Adam does is, I would say, his subtlety in running routes, especially at the top of the route when he's trying to create separation from the defender," Zimmer added. "I think he does that really well."

A player who was perceived to be on the roster bubble not that long ago vowed to bring the same competitive spirit and work ethic to training camp.

"Nothing for me really feels any different, honestly," Thielen said. "Nothing has changed. I still feel the same way about my training. I feel the same way about coming in next year with a lot to prove. The money hasn't hit the bank account yet, so not much has changed there either. Obviously, it's great to have security.

"The biggest thing for me is I can just go to training camp with just being able to straight focus on football, especially this year with not having to worry about outside things," Thielen added. "I think it's the thing I'm probably most excited about, to be able to go into training camp for the first time in my career, able to play football and try to help this team win as many games as possible."

View the best images of Vikings WR Adam Thielen during his career in Minnesota after re-signing with the team on Tuesday.

Thielen noted the valuable reps that he got as a practice squad member in 2013 with boosting his confidence behind the scenes.

Now, he wants to help take the Vikings all the way to a championship.

"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. "Now that I have this … there's a lot of unfinished business for me personally and as a team. I think there's a lot of motivation in that.

"There's still a lot of people that don't believe in me, and obviously, I love proving people wrong, and just helping the football team win football games any possible way I can," Thielen added. "Obviously, we have the end goal of winning a championship and bringing a championship to Minnesota. I think that's motivation in itself. I think the pieces that we've been able to put together this offseason and hopefully in the draft, I think we're pretty excited about what can be done here in Minnesota."

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