ESPN Analyst Claims Justin Jefferson Should Leave Vikings

Justin Jefferson One
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson will miss the next four games due to a hamstring injury, and the team’s head coach, Kevin O’Connell, claims the issue is not season-ending.

ESPN Analyst Claims Justin Jefferson Should Leave Vikings

The Vikings are 1-4 through five games, clinging to the side of a cliff in remaining relevant for a postseason push. Eleven teams since 1990 (when the NFL expanded its playoff format) have fixed a 1-4 record to the tune of an eventual playoff trip, and Minnesota hopes to make it an even dozen.

And as with life sans Jefferson begins this Sunday at Soldier Field versus the Chicago Bears, one ESPN analyst claims Vikings fans should get used to the feeling. She’s Kimberley A. Martin, and she believes Jefferson needs a “change of scenery.”

Jefferson Should Leave
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

A panel this week on ESPN airwaves discussed which WRs need a change of scenery, and right out of the gate, Martin mentioned Jefferson.

“Not only is the current quarterback on the last year of his deal, and we don’t know what Kirk Cousins’ future is, but beyond Kirk Cousins and who the quarterback is, Justin Jefferson is still waiting to get paid,” Martin opined.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports.

Jefferson’s representation and the Vikings front office were close to finalizing his extension right before the regular season began, but no deal was reached, and the parties are set to revisit the talks in the offseason.

Martin added, “And he is the best receiver in the NFL, in my opinion. So, the fact he has not gotten his money, and I don’t know who the quarterback is, he’s gotta go.”

A New Wrinkle
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky chimed in after Martin’s response on Jefferson, “I love that answer. I think the Vikings have one question in that regard to figure out, and that’s how do we keep Justin Jefferson.”

Each of the Vikings leaders — the owners, the general manager, and the head coach — have said since January the goal is to retain Jefferson for the long haul. There’s never been one iota of mystery regarding the Vikings intentions with Jefferson’s extension. It just hasn’t happened yet, and Jefferson is only under contract through the end of 2024. Most players of his caliber are “taken care of” before their contract’s final year.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

Jefferson is expected to break the bank when the agreement is reached, likely tipping the scales at $30 to $35 million per season, an otherworldly figure for a wide receiver. Too, Minnesota could draft a rookie quarterback in five months to pair with Jefferson, as that hypothetical man’s rookie contract would jibe wonderfully for 4-5 years with Jefferson’s megabucks.

The Vikings take on the Bears this Sunday, the team’s first Jefferson-less game since the 2019 postseason.


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.