Justin Jefferson the 2023 Frontrunner for His Award

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson will soon become the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history if all projections are accurate, a transaction that could be mere days or moments away.

Justin Jefferson the 2023 Frontrunner for His Award

The 23-year-old is expected to fetch a contract extension with the Vikings for $30 to $35 million per year, which is called ‘quarterback money’ in the business.

And he can demand such figures because of his impact to date on the Vikings as a franchise and the NFL on the whole. Jefferson won the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year award in 2022 and was the first Viking to win the trophy since Adrian Peterson in 2012.

2023 Frontrunner
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Meanwhile, don’t look now, but Jefferson is the odds-on favorite to repeat as the Offensive Player of the Year, according to sportsbooks. Jefferson and college teammates Ja’Marr Chase share frontrunner odds for 2023 OPOY, Here’s a peek at the OPOY lay of the land at the start of June:

  • Justin Jefferson: +1200
  • Ja’Marr Chase: +1200
  • Christian McCaffrey: +1400
  • Austin Ekeler: +1600
  • Tyreek Hill: +1800
  • Cooper Kupp: +2000
  • Lamar Jackson: +2000
  • Jalen Hurts: +2000
  • Josh Allen: +2500
  • Davante Adams: +2500
Justin Jefferson Named Best
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Jefferson spent most of his third season chasing Calvin Johnson’s holy single-season receiving yards mark, falling short in the regular season’s final weeks. Along the way, he pursued the 2,000-yard mark for receiving yards, which will eventually be a first-of-its-kind achievement of Jefferson’s or another talented wideout.

His impact on the Vikings was also vital. If Jefferson was quiet on a gameday in 2022 — mainly because an opposing defensive coordinator ‘sold out’ to stop him — the Vikings lost. When Jefferson thumped the opposition for 100+ yard games, Minnesota usually won in head coach Kevin O’Connell’s first season.

Justin Jefferson Continues
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Jefferson responded about his desire to stay with the Vikings for the long haul after the early-round playoff exit in January, “I will be wherever I’m wanted. If they want me here, I’m here.”

So, there shouldn’t be any mystery about his long-term status in purple, probably because men forecasted to win OPOYs annually are an intelligent investment. Jefferson also has Vikings team records for receptions in a single season and most receiving yards in a single season.

Opens up about Jefferson
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Jefferson extension could hit anytime. On Wednesday’s edition of the Power Trip Morning ShowKFAN’s Mark Rosen mentioned as the program ended, “Keep your eye on what’s going on with Justin Jefferson the next 48 hours.”

Once that formality is in the rearview, the man can seek his second consecutive OPOY, a feat oddsmakers endorse.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.