Are Vikings Headed Toward WR Showdown?

Build A Wide
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Jefferson is the Minnesota Vikings’ unquestioned top wide receiver, and he would remain as such across any team in the NFL. However, Jordan Addison put up strong numbers as a rookie and did so without the superstar active for a matter of weeks. Here’s to hoping they can coexist.

Are Vikings Headed Toward WR Showdown?

The entirety of the offseason has largely been focused on when and for how much money Justin Jefferson will sign with the Minnesota Vikings. As other deals with pass catchers pop off, Jefferson’s payday has always been expected to transcend the market. Now coming to fruition, it is as massive as advertised. As he returns to a full-time role, though, with a clean bill of health, how Jordan Addison responds will matter.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

He is entering his second year in the NFL, and Jordan Addison will play at 22. He is coming off a season in which he caught passes from a plethora of quarterbacks, and at least a few of them had no business being under center in a starting capacity. Coming up just short of 1,000 yards in his debut season and scoring ten touchdowns, he certainly did a good amount to establish himself in the league.

As 2024 kicks off with a new quarterback, and likely a new one after that, it will be both Jefferson and Addison vying for targets. Of course, Jefferson will be in line to get his share, and Addison should find no shortage either, especially with T.J. Hockenson sidelined to start the year. That said, the pair will combine to form one of the better duos across the entire league, which certainly comes with challenges.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

We will see for the first time at what level Jefferson and Addison can coexist. Last season, Jefferson returned when the season was largely decided. The quarterback situation was a mess, and Addison could be counted upon to rack up garbage time production. The rookie’s touchdowns came primarily before the change under center, and Jefferson was often left out to dry by lackluster backup options.

Sam Darnold will be given every opportunity to make things work out of the gate, and you can bet the Minnesota Vikings will be hoping they do. From there, J.J. McCarthy will experience some growing pains but ultimately will find a path where he can settle in. How the talented wide receiver pairing responds to both situations remains to be seen, but the more they can lean upon one another, the better.

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports.

Nothing will ever detract from Jefferson’s greatness at the highest level, but if he can bring Addison along with him rather than his shadow, the Vikings can avoid a situation of scorn for the secondary option.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.