Justin Jefferson’s Absence from OTAs Should Be Expected

Justin Jefferson Is about
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Most Minnesota Vikings players are there, but Justin Jefferson is not.

That’s one of the takeaways from Vikings organized team activities last week and now, as the team prepares for the 2023 season.

Justin Jefferson’s Absence from OTAs Should Be Expected

Minnesota fired up a 13-4 record in 2022, largely due to Jefferson’s continued emergence as the best wide receiver in the sport and his Offensive Player of the Year award.

Absence from OTAs Should
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And while Jefferson’s absence from OTAs could cause heartburn for some, the maneuver from the young playmaker should be expected, not lamented. This is the time — the here and now — for the man to secure his future forever. He’ll soon fetch a contract that will make folks’ eyes bulge and reset the NFL’s WR market.

In fact, if he attended OTAs, it could be considered silly. As soon as the ink drys on his extension, Jefferson will be equipped with a fat stack of guaranteed money and set for life if he appropriately manages his budget. Until then, though, he is wise to wait it out.

Power Index Not
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Head coach Kevin O’Connell said Tuesday about Jefferson and OTAs, “For me, I hope to see him as soon as possible. I think our participation amongst the whole team has been so good that we’re able to get great work in. Would love to have him here, obviously, but I think as we work towards minicamp, we’ll have a real clean-cut plan of what that looks like. Hopefully get him some work, and I know a lot of the guys will be excited to see him.”

Vikings minicamp kicks off June 13th.

O’Connell added, “It’s one of those things that we’ve had great dialogue throughout the offseason, a lot of that will stay between Justin and I. But just know he’s getting good work wherever he’s spending his offseason, look forward to having him here when he decides to come up, and I know his teammates will be excited about that.”

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The risk for Jefferson is freak injury. If he trotted onto the OTA field in ‘good faith’ and popped his knee, his value would plunge instantly, and the Vikings front office, in theory, could ‘wait’ and see how the injury recovery progressed. It would be a nasty ordeal for everybody, and Jefferson in particular.

Overall, this is how it works. Stars get paid. Jefferson is that. And while he famously said he “wasn’t fond of money” last summer, he smartly became fond in a year’s time.

Jefferson will get his extension — probably very soon — and O’Connell’s words will come to life. Everybody wins — Jefferson, the Vikings, and the team’s fans.

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.