Justin Jefferson Suddenly Unsure about His Future

3 Vikings Developments
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The Vikings have four main questions in the offseason: Will Kirk Cousins return for a seventh season, will Danielle Hunter return for a tenth season, who will be Minnesota’s first-round pick, and will Justin Jefferson finally sign his record-breaking contract? Those questions will be answered in the next few months with Kwesi Adofo-Mensah again making the calls.

Justin Jefferson Suddenly Unsure about His Future

Jefferson has racked up 5,899 receiving yards in four seasons and 60 games, resulting in the most yards per game in NFL history. He is on a clear Hall of Fame path and is one of the faces of the league and certainly THE main attraction on Minnesota’s football team. The fans come to the stadium to watch him play.

Justin Jefferson Suddenly Unsure About His Future
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The problem? He is entering the final year of his contract. After last year’s failed negotiation rounds, the Vikings still haven’t locked him up for the future. Both parties, the Vikes and Jefferson, agreed last September to resume the contract talks in the 2024 offseason.

We have arrived in that offseason. Other than finding a starting quarterback for the upcoming season by re-signing Cousins or drafting his successor, Jefferson’s future is certainly at the top of Adofo-Mensah’s to-do list, and Jefferson should be eager to finally break the bank.

3 Outlandish
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Indeed, that is what he said in an interview with Adam Schein on Mad Dog Sports Radio, but he sounded unusually skeptical for his standards. Asked about an update and if he would finally break the bank, the receiver answered:

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.

I’m not really too sure at this very moment [if he would consider different options if he doesn’t get a contract from the Vikings]. I definitely am grateful for what Minnesota has done for me, I wouldn’t be in this situation if they didn’t pick me. Everything that has happened and everything that I have given for the organization, of course, I wanna stay. That’s what I’m calling home ever since I got into the league. It is what it is at the end of the day but I just want to play football.

– Justin Jefferson about his future
camp schedule
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He has always emphasized that he just wants to play football, and while continuing to thank the Vikings, he also sounded less confident that his future will be in a purple jersey than before.

The Vikings have only one option if they don’t want to hand their star a new contract: They can trade him. In return, they would get a boatload of draft picks, but the fan reaction would not be too positive. He has been a generational player, and those shouldn’t be traded at age 24. But letting him play out his final year of the contract and then playing the franchise tag game is also not what a player of his caliber deserves.

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Just a year ago, Adofo-Mensah said: “I said it earlier, I don’t want to be the Vikings GM without that guy on our team, so it’s a high priority. We gotta make sure that we do it in the order that we can do it in given all our other decisions we have to make. He’s trying to put the Minnesota Vikings on his back, and he wants to win a championship. When you have people like that in your building, try everything you can to not let them out.”

The GM will be measured mainly by two things: How he deals with Jefferson and who will be his quarterback of the future. All other things are also noteworthy, but they lose importance next to those fundamental questions.

Mullens Not
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The receiver knows his worth. He should be the highest-paid receiver in the league and eclipse Tyreek Hill’s $30 million per season. It might be scary to pay a non-quarterback that kind of money, but Adofo-Mensah doesn’t have much choice. Refusing to do so would be viewed as a failure.

Jefferson is still on track to receive a huge paycheck from the Vikings at some point before the season kicks off. It is undoubtedly the most likely outcome, but his comments didn’t quite calm down the fan base.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt