Kirk Cousins Aims to Make Justin Jefferson’s List in 2024

Would the Vikings without
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson have an outstanding connection. That bond has been visible in most games of the last three seasons, and the result was a record-breaking start to Jefferson’s career.

Kirk Cousins Aims to Make Justin Jefferson’s List in 2024

The wideout has put up more receiving yards in the first three seasons of his career than any other player, and it hasn’t been particularly close. He also set the new record for the most receiving yards before turning 24 and led the league in receiving yards and receptions in 2022, leading to winning the Offensive Player of the Year Award.

Kirk Cousins Aims To Make Justin Jefferson's List in 2024
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Because of those accolades, it was surprising that Jefferson kind of snubbed his passer from his top five rankings of quarterbacks in the NFL. The list made big waves, although only hardcore Cousins fans would include him in their list. However, Jefferson could be one of those fans because the two are an outstanding combination.

This is the list that made headlines:

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Aaron Rodgers
  3. Joe Burrow
  4. Jalen Hurts
  5. Josh Allen

Most folks just ignored the little detail to make it an actual thing: Jefferson mentioned his quarterback right after Allen, basically as the 5B option.

Cousins was asked about Jefferson’s ranking during an appearance on KFAN, and he wasn’t fazed by it:

“I didn’t even see it, so this is the first time hearing about it. As a competitor, yeah, you’d always want to be included, but people have to be honest and share what they think, and I’m not going to tell somebody what they need to think. And hopefully, in 2024, I’ll be on his list. We’ll see what we can do this year.”

NFL: New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Cousins’ statistics are annually top 10 numbers, but he somehow doesn’t get much credit for it. Suddenly passing yards and touchdowns are held against him because his team didn’t win the Super Bowl. Those rules don’t apply to other QBs.

The statistics looked worse in 2022, and strangely, the general opinion is that he played better than before.

Cousins wants to make Jefferson’s list without an asterisk as the 5B guy next year. It might be his last season with the Vikings, who didn’t extend his contract. 2023 will be his first contract year since he joined the Vikings in 2018. Those contract talks are on pause but could be continued next offseason.

camp schedule
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Contract talks are also the central theme surrounding Jefferson, who is patiently waiting for his new deal. He is still playing on his rookie contract but became eligible for an extension in the 2023 offseason. Of course, the Vikings would be foolish to let him walk out of the building, and a new agreement is only a matter of time.

The highest-paid receivers per average annual salary are Tyreek Hill ($30 million) and Davante Adams ($28.5 million). Jefferson is much younger and just as good as the two. So his salary is expected to shatter theirs.

The passing attack is once again the strong suit of the Vikings in the upcoming season, and it has to make up for the shaky defense and the struggling running game. Cousins and Jefferson must continue playing their best to keep the team competitive. Adding first-rounder Jordan Addison could help them take some pressure off one-man show Jefferson.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt