Vikings Gain ‘Bargain Bin’ Treatment for 2 Starters
It won’t last long, but the 2023 Minnesota Vikings are renowned for two of the NFL’s top ‘bargain’ players, with the regular season 11 weeks away.
Those men are Justin Jefferson and Christian Darrisaw, according to CBS Sports.
Vikings Gain’ Bargain Bin’ Treatment for 2 Starters
Jefferson was drafted in 2020 after the Vikings shipped wide receiver Stefon Diggs to Buffalo via trade. Darrisaw joined the franchise a year later from the 1st Round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jefferson is on tap for a $4.1 cap number in 2023, and Darrisaw is at $3.6 million — value indeed. Vikings fans should relish those minuscule sums because, within the next few years, Jefferson and Darrisaw will tip the scales as the highest-paid players at their positions.
CBS Sports Cody Benjamin identified the NFL’s top 20 bargain players on Thursday and wrote about Jefferson, “If anyone has a case to become the NFL’s highest-paid non-QB, it’s probably ‘Jets,’ who’s been a bona fide No. 1 since Day 1 but now deserves MVP consideration as the Vikings’ offensive catalyst.”
Jefferson leads the NFL in receiving yards since turning in pro in 2020 and reduced Vikings fans’ animosity over ‘losing Stefon Diggs’ to mere peanuts.
“Fresh off a 1,800-yard season with more room for growth, Jefferson is smooth and self-motivated, and his pocketbook should soon confirm him as a face of the league. For now, he technically earns less per year than teammates Jalen Reagor and Jordan Addison, who’s yet to take an NFL snap,” concluded about Jefferson’s pennyworth.
Jefferson and the Vikings front office are currently negotiating a contract extension that will likely plop $30-$35 million in the Offensive Player of the Year’s pocket by the time the 2025 season kicks off.
Benjamin name-dropped Darrisaw, too, “Like Andrew Thomas, the former first-rounder took a big leap in 2022, proving a reliable anchor for one of the NFL’s more explosive offenses. His pass pro helped fuel the Kirk Cousins-Justin Jefferson connection that got Minnesota to a surprising 13 wins.”
Darrisaw was the league’s second-best offensive tackle in 2022, his second year in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Only Trent Williams’ — Darrisaw’s idol — 91.7 grade superseded Darrisaw’s 90.4 last season.
Like Jefferson, Darrisaw will command an otherworldly extension, so fans can wash-rinse-repeat all the Jefferson extension talk for Darrisaw next spring and summer. When those chats begin, Darrisaw will likely fetch around $25 million per season.
Benjamin also mentioned former Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson as a bargain — but for the Pittsburgh Steelers, where Peterson settled after leaving Minnesota in free agency three months ago.
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).