Records? Fine. But Justin Jefferson Wants More.

Records? Fine. But Justin Jefferson Wants More.

Another week in the NFL, and another record falls by the wayside at the hands of Justin Jefferson. This time it was the Vikings single-game receiving yards record that became the possession of Jefferson.

However, it was a disappointing night for Minnesota, who were beaten 34-23 by Detroit. Jefferson was proud of his new record, but as always, he was more interested in the result and was disappointed his monster day came in a losing effort.

The previous record came in 1976, also against the Lions, and also by a wide receiver born in Louisiana. Sammy White had 210 receiving yards in a game during his rookie season, on the way to being named Offensive Rookie of the Year. White’s record stood for 46 years before Jefferson broke it on Sunday. Hall of Fame legends Randy Moss and Cris Carter couldn’t do what Jefferson did. 

Records? Fine. But Justin Jefferson Wants More.

It just so happens that White will be at this Saturday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. He is traveling to Minnesota for a Miracle at the Met reunion and will attend the game at US Bank Stadium the following day. He plans to congratulate the new record holder in person.

Team Success

Jefferson’s reaction has always been the same with every record and milestone collected. Success as a team is more important. Jefferson comes from a winning background as a national champion in college with LSU. After two disappointing seasons for the Vikings since Jefferson was drafted, this year needed to be positive.

Records? Fine. But Justin Jefferson Wants More.
Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson. © JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK.

With new leadership, in the form of general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell, the Vikings immediately made positive strides, marching out to 10 wins from the first 12 games, bettering the previous two seasons with games to spare. Of course, such a fast start brings criticism when Minnesota doesn’t match up to the Super Bowl favorites like Philadelphia or Kansas City.

The Vikings will be in the playoffs this season, and that is an excellent first season for a rookie head coach. The expectations suddenly being shifted to winning the Super Bowl were never realistic. There is still work to be done before Minnesota can genuinely claim to be up there with the very best in the league — namely, sorting out that defense. The good news is the first year of O’Connell has shown a happy team, with togetherness and capable of winning games. That was important with a big offseason ahead regarding Jefferson’s future.

Jefferson’s Contract

In 2023, Justin Jefferson will enter his fourth season in the NFL, and the Vikings will want to get their star a long-term contract. The wide receiver market boomed this year, with Jefferson justifiably able to claim he’s the best in the league. A monster contract is coming his way. He has openly said he isn’t worried about the money, but don’t expect that to translate to the Vikings getting him on the cheap.

Rob Brzezinski will have a lot to sort out in the off-season. The salary cap situation in Minnesota looks rough, with some expensive contracts for aging players. The number one priority has to be getting Jefferson a deal he is happy with for as long as possible. Having been fortunate to land the LSU alumnus in the draft, you absolutely can not let him leave the building.

Purple Rumor Mill: Jefferson and 2K, Coach of the Year, Adam Thielen Status
Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin JeffersonMandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

He is everything an organization wants in the “face of the franchise.” Elite on the field, charismatic, and highly likable off it. Any ideas of moving on from Jefferson for some draft picks is complete madness. Minnesota has the guy to build their team around.

More NFL Records

The records will likely keep coming for Jefferson, having just missed out on Randy Moss’ single-season receiving yards record last season by 17 yards. He looks set to break it this year, needing just 133 yards from the season’s final four games. Jefferson already has three of the six biggest seasons in Vikings history, with the other three belonging to Moss.

Dec 6, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; ESPN commentator and NFL Hall of Fame member Randy Moss. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

There is an even more significant milestone in reach for the Vikings wide-out — Calvin Johnson’s league record of 1964 yards and the holy grail of the 2000-yard mark. Sitting on 1500 yards, he needs to average 125 yards a game over the last four games to hit the 2000 mark. He is currently averaging 115.4 yards per game. I feel he will need one more colossal game to make it.

A 300-yard game would help. Only six men have ever topped the 300 mark in a single game. The last of which was Julio Jones in 2016. The record belongs to Willie “Flipper” Anderson, who amassed an unbelievable 336 yards for the LA Rams against the New Orleans Saints in 1989. At this point, I wouldn’t put anything past Jefferson.

Enjoy Watching Greatness

Minnesota Vikings fans are currently privileged to be watching greatness. Enjoy it. Players with this level of talent don’t come around all the time. Minnesota has been blessed at the wide receiver position over the years, with some of the greats donning the purple uniform. By the end of his career, Jefferson’s name will be up there with the very best.