Adam Thielen Inspired by Andy Dalton to Sign With Panthers, Thinks They Can Win a Super Bowl
By Liam McKeone
Adam Thielen has never won a championship, is on the back nine of his career, and hit free agency for the first time this offseason. That combination of factors almost always leads to a cheap deal with a Super Bowl contender. With that in mind, experts largely predicted he would end up with the Kansas City Chiefs or another team basically assured to be in contention next year. Thus, many were surprised when Thielen ended up signing with the Carolina Panthers. A team very much not in championship contention.
Thielen inked a three-year deal with the Panthers worth $25 million, including $14 million guaranteed. That latter number feels like the strongest reason the veteran wideout signed there. That's a lot more guaranteed money than any true contender would give a guy whose numbers have been on the decline over the last three years. If that were the only reason Thielen signed, nobody would blame him. But the man himself gave some... interesting reasoning for landing in Carolina when appearing on the Pat McAfee Show on Monday to discuss his new team.
Thielen said with a straight face that he firmly believes the Panthers have a shot at the Super Bowl this year. And that the signing of Andy Dalton played a big role in his signing.
We aren't gonna clown the guy for gassing up his new team but the fact that he brought up Dalton first as a motivational factor is a solid reflection of the state of the team.
However, while the Panthers are picking in the top-10 in the NFL draft for the third year in a row, seeing them at least qualify for the postseason would not be that surprising. The NFC South is horrid, so anything is possible. Given how wide-open the NFC as a whole appears in the wake of Aaron Rodgers' imminent departure, you can see the extremely optimistic view that if everything goes right the Panthers will be in the mix.
They almost definitely won't be, but that's the beauty of the offseason. Months of dreams before the regular season starts and crushes hopes.