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Thielen's deal with Vikings could reach $27 million

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen lines up against the Chicago Bears Jan. 1 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Brace Hemmelgarn / USA TODAY Sports

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings have reached an agreement with restricted free-agent wide receiver Adam Thielen.

A source said Thielen has agreed to a three-year, $17 million contract. The deal could be worth as much as $27 million if certain incentives are reached, and $11 million of it is guaranteed.

Thielen had a breakout season in 2016, catching 69 passes for a team-high 967 yards. The Vikings last week had given him a second-round tender of $2.746 million, meaning any team that signed him to an offer sheet would have had to give up a second-round pick if Minnesota didn’t match the offer.

The need to bring back Thielen became even more pressing once the Vikings in free agency lost wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson.

Thielen, a Detroit Lakes native who played at Minnesota State, Mankato, made the Vikings’ practice squad in 2013 after being undrafted. He made the 53-man roster in 2014, and was a special teams ace that season and in 2015.

Thielen caught only 20 passes the previous two seasons. But he really emerged last season, and, along with Stefon Diggs, was one of the team’s top two wide receivers.

After having career highs of 12 catches for 202 yards in the next-to-last game of 2016 at Green Bay, Thielen was on the verge of becoming the first Minnesota player since Sidney Rice in 2009 to have a 1,000-yard receiving season. However, he fell short when he had just one catch for seven yards in the finale against Chicago.

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