Vikings Leaders Provide Another Justin Jefferson Extension Update

Per PFF, the Vikings Top Players from Best to Worst: The Preseason Edition
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The Minnesota Vikings’ first two major offseason dominoes involved free agency and, specifically, the statuses of Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter. Both men departed.

Vikings Leaders Provide Another Justin Jefferson Extension Update

The next, in addition to the 2024 NFL Draft, is Justin Jefferson’s contract extension, a conversation that has lasted for over a year.

Justin Jefferson Extension
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According to the team’s head coach, Kevin O’Connell, a long-term deal remains the foremost priority. “We absolutely wanted to and continue to want to get something done,” O’Connell told reporters.

Jefferson’s next contract is expected to fetch north of $30 million per season, probably setting a record among wide receivers and perhaps making the playmaker the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history.

O’Connell added, “Justin’s a major, major priority for the Minnesota Vikings because of what he means to me as the head coach, the play caller. But also our fanbase, the Twin Cities. The impact he’s really had on our league is really not lost on me for one moment.”

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Meanwhile, one of the team’s owners, Mark Wilf, echoed O’Connell’s sentiment. He said, “Justin Jefferson is a unique talent. Best in the game, and we’re excited he’s a Minnesota Viking. And not only is he a great player, he’s become a great leader of our locker room, and he’s great in the community. So the thrills he gives the fans on the field and just the way he carries himself, we’re looking forward to some real positive conversations.”

Without an extension, NFL-themed media has speculated trade theories involving Jefferson, off-the-wall ideas often connecting the 24-year-old to the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals, for example. But no Vikings leader has even hinted trading Jefferson was remotely an option.

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“Again, right now, we’re focused on getting that guy Jefferson on our field with the purple, and he looks great in purple. And we’re going to do our best to keep it that way,” Wilf concluded about Jefferson’s extension.

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.”

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 would want to stay.”

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Jefferson may, too, want to watch the Vikings’ plan at quarterback unfold. He held a sweet chemistry with Kirk Cousins, but the longtime quarterback exited the Twin Cities via free agency two weeks ago for the Atlanta Falcons. The draft is 30 days away, and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is expected to choose a quarterback like Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy. In the meantime, Sam Darnold is penciled in as the 2024 QB1.

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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