Justin Jefferson Re-Proved He’s a Franchise Player on Wednesday

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Training camp kicked off with practices on Wednesday, one day after the mining players reported at TCO Performance Center, including Danielle Hunter, whose status will be essential to monitor in the upcoming weeks as he demands a new contract. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson also reported and stepped onto the practice field, although he hasn’t signed his contract extension yet.

Justin Jefferson Re-Proved He’s a Franchise Player on Wednesday

Wide receivers are known to be divas at times. Players hold out of training camps, demand trades, and have all kinds of issues on social media. Antonio Brown has been the best example of a diva receiver in the last decade. The Vikings had to deal with Stefon Diggs and his occasional antics, eventually resulting in a trade to the Buffalo Bills.

Justin Jefferson Re-Proved He's a Franchise Player on Wednesday
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Ex-GM Rick Spielman used the trade compensation to draft Diggs’ successor. Justin Jefferson was the pick, and he actually immediately replaced him on the field and as a star of the franchise. After three record-breaking seasons, it is time to pay Jefferson his true value and extend his contract. It is only a matter of time until he signs on the dotted lines and becomes a wealthy man with generational wealth, especially how both parties — Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Jefferson — have been talking about each other and the extension.

He doesn’t threaten to hold out, and he doesn’t decline to talk or practice — and that is why he is a franchise player. Most franchise players are so-called franchise quarterbacks (Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow…), but the Vikings found a rare franchise receiver. Jefferson was asked about his mindset at practicing without a contract, and there’s nothing diva-like in his response:

That’s not the worries that I have right now. It’s really only about winning the Super Bowl, just getting the wins and being with my team. The contract is going to play itself and I’m just out here to play football.

Justin Jefferson

Nobody could blame him if he chose to hold out, especially because the team perhaps held it against him if he got hurt. Maximizing his value after only earning a laughable salary of roughly $10.9 million through three seasons, almost $7 million less than Kenny Golladay made in 2022 alone – for catching six passes.

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Jefferson knows he will get his deal sooner rather than later. Trevon Diggs and Justin Herbert kicked off the extensions of the 2020 draft class. Tyreek Hill is the best-paid wideout in the NFL, with an annual salary of $30 million, and Jefferson is likely to top that.

Despite turning only 24 a few weeks ago, he is taking over a leadership role on the team. Jordan Addison is, of course, a player he can tutor. He was asked how tough it is to go through the process as a rookie and claimed that he supports the young guy.

We’re with him every step of the way. Just like when I came in Adam [Thielen] was that person for me that took me under his wing and showed me the ropes and taught me how to be a professional. That’s the role that I’m playing with him. Anything that he needs, I’m there for him. We are here to teach him all of the things that he needs to know to be a better player.

Justin Jefferson

One Viking Oddly
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Addison could be a critical factor in lifting the offense to another level after it was a borderline top-10 unit in 2022. That is especially important considering the struggling defense. It will be another year in which the offense must be the strong suit of the team, and the other players, including Addison, taking advantage of Jefferson’s double-teams is a point of emphasis. T.J. Hockenson, K.J. Osborn, and possibly Jalen Nailor provide more help as a supporting cast.

The offense will once again revolve around Kirk Cousins throwing the ball to his favorite target, who could sign his contract extension anytime in the upcoming days or weeks. His incredible maturity just adds to the electric on-field production, combining to create the perfect face of the franchise.


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