Justin Jefferson Gets His Flowers from One Site

Checking In on Vikings Madden Ratings
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If you believe Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson is the best in the business at his craft, well, Pro Football Focus agrees.

Justin Jefferson Gets His Flowers from One Site

PFF ranked the NFL’s top wide receivers on Tuesday, some 15 weeks until the start of the regular season, and Jefferson led the way, outpacing Miami Dolphins wideout Tyreek Hill at No. 2 and Jefferson’s college teammate Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 3.

Justin Jefferson Trade
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“Justin Jefferson remains the best receiver in the NFL. Injury cost him much of 2023, but in 10 games, he still cleared 1,000 yards and averaged 2.91 yards per route run. Now, he has to do it with a new quarterback after Kirk Cousins departed for Atlanta,” PFF’s Sam Monson defended the top ranking for Jefferson.

Jefferson encountered a quiet year in 2023 by his standards, banking 68 receptions for 1,074 yards and 5 touchdowns while appearing in just 10 games. His season was shortened by a hamstring injury against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

justin jefferson
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The phenom playmaker had a hodgepodge of quarterbacks flinging the rock in his direction last year, including Kirk Cousins, Joshua Dobbs, Jaren Hall, and Nick Mullens. Cousins was injured in Week 8 at Lambeau Field with a torn Achilles and never played for the Vikings again. He’s an Atlanta Falcon now.

In 2024, Jefferson will enter Year No. 5 and hope for optimal health. Minnesota will also feature a new quarterback for Jefferson, probably Sam Darnold to start the season and rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy down the road when the youngster is ready for the bright lights of QB1.

Thing at Stake for
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Fans have closely monitored Jefferson’s eventual contract extension this offseason. For 17 months, Jefferson’s camp and the Vikings front office have strived towards a long-term contract, an agreement that likely isn’t far away from fruition. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said last week, “I know everything’s gonna get worked out there. Justin knows the love and admiration that I have for him. He knows he’s such a big part of what we do around here. That’s on the field and off the field. Bringing such a great energy to our building every single day.”

Vikings mandatory minicamp kicks off in less than two weeks, and it would be wonderful to have Jefferson in the house, especially to avoid the awkwardness of a holdout.

Jefferson said at the Super Bowl’s radio row in February about his future in Minnesota, “I want to break the bank, and I want to be a part of an organization that wants me and really gives me what I deserve. I feel like eventually, the Vikings will do what they need to do to have me in the building but I don’t really know at this moment. Only time will tell. I feel like I have the right people in my circle to negotiate and to do what’s right, and I feel like this whole process of how we handle things, I feel like we did a great job with it.”

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He also added on the same day, “I’m definitely grateful for what Minnesota has done for me. I definitely wouldn’t be in this situation if they didn’t pick me, to be the fifth receiver taken. With everything that has happened and everything I have gave to the organization, of course, I want to stay.”

To prolong Jefferson’s stay in Minnesota — probably a worthwhile mission for PFF’s best WR in the sport — Minnesota will probably have to dish out well over $30 million per season.

Jefferson’s teammate, Jordan Addison, did not crack PFF’s Top 32 WRs list.

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.