The “Other” Justin Jefferson and J.J. McCarthy Connection

Minnesota Vikings 2024 NFL Draft. Watch as QB J.J. McCarthy addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Friday. The Vikings traded up one spot on the draftboard with the New York Jets for McCarthy.

The Minnesota Vikings ended the months-long mystery on Thursday night, drafting the University of Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, their choice at quarterback to lead the team during life after Kirk Cousins.

The “Other” Justin Jefferson and J.J. McCarthy Connection

At some point — in September, midseason, or in 2025 — McCarthy will take the reins of QB1 and begin his maturation into Minnesota’s franchise quarterback.

Justin Jefferson
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Justin Jefferson will be there, too, as his representation and the Vikings’ front office have worked toward a contract extension for about 17 months. The 2022 Offensive Player of the Year is expected to become the league’s highest-paid wide receiver of all time and perhaps the richest non-quarterback ever before too long.

Most believe the McCarthy selection will motivate Jefferson to remain in Minnesota for the long haul as a standalone development, but on top of McCarthy’s upside, there’s another connection: Jefferson and McCarthy share an agent — Brian Ayrault.

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Ayrault represents Jefferson and McCarthy, and that cannot be a bad thing for Minnesota and the team’s fans. In fact, it should be considered a perk to keep the two men paired indefinitely, especially if McCarthy blossoms as a true-blue franchise quarterback.

Some theorized Jefferson wanted to “wait and see who the Vikings quarterback would be,” and after the 2024 NFL Draft, Minnesota provided a resounding answer: McCarthy. So, think of it this way: Minnesota drafted the guy whose agent also represents their current face of the franchise, Jefferson.

justin jefferson
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General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said after the draft about Jefferson’s upcoming extension: “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.”

And that message from the young executive is consistent with the offseason message from Minnesota’s leaders all offseason: Jefferson will be around for the long haul.

Vikings Vegas Odds
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Ayrault also represents notable NFLers Ryan Tannehill, Zach Wilson, Jaelan Phillips, Kenny Pickett, Bud Dupree, Leonard Floyd, and D.J. Jones, among others.

McCarthy became the highest draft pick spent by Minnesota on a quarterback in franchise history last week and entered the NFL at the ripe old age of 21. In a few months, he’ll compete for the QB1 job against veteran Sam Darnold at training camp and preseason.

Jefferson’s extension could arrive at any minute.

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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