Justin Jefferson Shouldn’t Care about Kirk Cousins

3 Things to Love
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have two massive contract situations to deal with this offseason, and only one of those players is currently part of the organization. When Justin Jefferson is considering his future, he shouldn’t be concerned about Kirk Cousins’s future.

Justin Jefferson Shouldn’t Care about Kirk Cousins

Since entering the National Football League, Justin Jefferson has had the fortune of catching passes from an established veteran quarterback in Kirk Cousins. That has produced some gaudy stat lines but ultimately has seen the team coming up short. Cousins and Jefferson have connected for some of the largest yardage totals for a receiver in history, but turning the page on part of that equation shouldn’t be expected to change much.

Justin Jefferson
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

At some point this offseason, Jefferson is going to receive an epic payday. Rather than surpassing Tyreek Hill’s contract as the top-paid wide receiver, Jefferson should be expected to be compensated among the league’s 10th-15th highest-paid players. He will get quarterback money and should make more than Nick Bosa and Aaron Donald. Coming to the end of his rookie deal and amid his prime, that is both fair and warranted.

Despite a sizable raise in the salary cap and the Vikings needing to figure out the quarterback position, caving to the lucrative demands of Cousins again is something that Minnesota doesn’t need to do. He can walk, play for Atlanta, and start a new journey in his career yet again. Cousins will be forced to learn a new offense, teammates, and situation while leaving the best wide receiver in Minnesota. None of that should matter to Jefferson.

The focal point for Jefferson and Minnesota has to be getting a competent quarterback to take over. With the payday coming for the best wideout in the league, it stands to reason that a signal caller on a rookie deal makes a lot of sense. Drafting someone who can team up with Jefferson to create prolific passes over the next handful of years is a straightforward strategy. Jefferson should be allowed to speak into that reality, and having buy-in from him on the next man up is something that makes a good deal of sense.

Rumors Hit Boiling
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

On the flip side, the Vikings can’t go from Cousins to a career backup just keeping the seat warm. It doesn’t have to be the longtime veteran, and Jefferson likely won’t care if it is, but he will be bothered by more play in the form of Nick Mullens or Jaren Hall.

Barely clearing that bar would frustrate the organization and wide receiver, and that is really the only outcome that matters.

Jefferson Smashes
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Jefferson will remain undeterred when the dust settles, and Cousins goes elsewhere as long as there’s a replacement capable of getting him the ball and elevating the team. It’s becoming time to see that play out.

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.