One Man Absent from Vikings OTAs

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As expected, Minnesota Vikings organized team activities (OTAs) were lite by one man.

One Man Absent from Vikings OTAs

Justin Jefferson reportedly wasn’t in attendance Monday, a repeat of last year when he and the team’s front office hadn’t reached an agreement. It’s back-to-back OTAs of no Jefferson in Eagan, Minnesota.

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted right after the start of OTAs, “WR Justin Jefferson, who has been in talks with the Vikings regarding a contract extension, was not spotted at the team’s training facility today for the start of organized team activities, per team sources.”

Thankfully, there are no repercussions for anyone or anything involving Jefferson’s absence. Instead, it’s just an emblem of his ongoing contract negotiations. Jefferson is expected to fetch the largest contract for a wide receiver in the history of football and maybe even lock down the most money ever for all non-quarterbacks. Stay tuned.

3 Things to Love
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The team’s head coach isn’t sweating the situation, though. Kevin O’Connell spoke with Kay Adams of The Up and Adams Show last week, reassuring her that a deal was inevitable. O’Connell said six days ago, “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.”

“Justin Jefferson’s a huge part of this organization,” O’Connell concluded about Jefferson’s role.

While no extension for Jefferson has caused some anguish among fans, other players from Jefferson’s draft class, like CeeDee Lamb of the Dallas Cowboys and Tristan Wirfs from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are also waiting for contracts. Jefferson is not alone.

About a week ago, ESPN’s Dan Graziano claimed Jefferson’s extension may be drawn out even further, possibly 2-3 more months. The Vikings evidently prefer such deals on or after July 31st. “There’s a number of reasons to think an extension might take until closer to the season. The Vikings have a policy with their signing bonuses where July 31st is kind of a key date, and they might want to wait until after that,” Graziano recently stated on NFL Live.

Jefferson is expected to tip the scales in the ballpark of $32-$35 million per season via the next contract,

justin jefferson
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Graziano added, “And think about the agent, Brian Ayrault, who represents Justin Jefferson. Last year, he represented Joe Burrow and Nick Bosa. Burrow, now the highest-paid player in the league, Bosa, now the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league, and those deals got done pretty close to the start of the regular season. So I would preach patience on the Justin Jefferson deal.”

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah hinted after April’s draft that an extension was close. He said, “You know that friend that has a birthday that takes the month? I think Justin would deserve his whole month if we signed a contract to celebrate it. We’re excited to work towards it. We’re going to keep going. You can’t have all these plans when you talk about all these visions and not talk about the king linchpin, so we’re going to keep working toward that end goal.”

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Jefferson holds every through-first-four-years record via receiving yards — virtually known to man.

He’ll turn 25 next month. If Jefferson doesn’t show up at next month’s mandatory minicamp, Vikings fans’ anxiety will surely spike.

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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