Vikings Owner Shoots Down Any Mystery about Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson insulted
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings owner Mark Wilf echoed comments Tuesday on a couple of topics made by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell this offseason.

Wilf answered questions from reporters and was predictably asked about Justin Jefferson’s would-be contract extension. And he didn’t bluff.

Vikings Owner Shoots Down Any Mystery about Justin Jefferson

“Everyone is working together on this contract,” Wilf replied.

Jefferson won the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year award in 2022 and is expected to vie for the achievement — and then some — again in 2023.

Vikings Owner Shoots Down Any Mystery about Justin Jefferson
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Wilf continued, “We are certainly aware of the magnitude of this one. We are certainly aware, certainly involved. Justin Jefferson, we want him to stay as a Minnesota Viking.”

At minicamp in June, Jefferson opined about his plans in Minnesota, “It’s not something that’s new towards the game. Eventually, we knew we were going to have to talk contract. I don’t really see it as a cloud hanging over my head. The contract is going to come with the game.”

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Then last week, Jefferson again answered questions about his upcoming extension, “My parents always had money, and I was blessed to be a part of a two-parent household that supported me and pretty much gave me anything I needed in the sports aspect and daily life. So money wasn’t my main need. It’s really all about playing the game that I love, playing the game that I’ve been playing since I was seven years old. Now, it’s to the point of contract talks and being one of the highest paid. That’s a dream that I would love to happen someday, but it’s not my main priority.”

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said in January, just two days after his club was prematurely bounced from the playoffs, that anything contract-related to Jefferson was champagne problems.

Writer Claims Justin
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“I wouldn’t use the word challenge. You got a special player, a special person. Those aren’t problems. Or at least those are champagne problems,” Adofo-Mensah replied when asked about the feasibility of a long-term deal.

He finished the response, “So, we’ll start there. We’ve had initial dialogue with him, his agent. All those things we get back to that in the planning, but again it really starts from the player, the person, and we’ll work on solutions from there on.”

In April, head coach Kevin O’Connell chatted at length with The Athletic, and when asked about Jefferson’s looming extension, the message was consistent, “There’s no question. All of our organization is excited about having Justin Jefferson on our team for a really long time. Knowing what that’s going to mean from a numbers standpoint and all those things is one thing, and that will all work itself out.”

Should Justin Jefferson
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“It’s the goal of having him as the legitimate best receiver in football on our team for as long as we can possibly have him. I think that’s really important,” O’Connell declared,

On the other hand, the Vikings have taken a wait-and-see approach with quarterback Kirk Cousins. Just as the team’s brass has remained adamant an extension is on the way for Jefferson, it is just as firm on letting 2023 play out before addressing an extension for the veteran quarterback.

Wilf said about Cousins’ future Tuesday, “We’ll leave that to Kwesi and Coach to work through those discussions. There’s always conversations on that. But our real focus is 100% on 2023 and getting where we need to be, and where I know we can be.”

Jefferson’s eventual extension is expected to fetch $30-$35 million per season and make the 24-year-old the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history.

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).

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