Kevin O’Connell Sheds More Light on Justin Jefferson Situation

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The Minnesota Vikings and Justin Jefferson have worked for about 17 months to complete a contract extension.

Kevin O’Connell Sheds More Light on Justin Jefferson Situation

Thankfully for Vikings fans’ sake, the team’s head coach isn’t sweating the timetable. Kevin O’Connell spoke with Kay Adams of The Up and Adams Show this week, reassuring her that a deal was inevitable.

Justin Jefferson
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O’Connell said Tuesday, “I know everything’s gonna get worked out there. Justin knows the love and admiration that I have for him. He knows he’s such a big part of what we do around here. That’s on the field and off the field. Bringing such a great energy to our building every single day.”

Vikings mandatory minicamp kicks off in about three weeks, and it would be wonderful to have Jefferson in the house, especially to avoid the awkwardness of a holdout.

One Thing Separates Vikings from Elite Tier
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“Justin Jefferson’s a huge part of this organization,” O’Connell concluded about Jefferson’s role.

While no extension for Jefferson has caused some anguish among fans, other players from Jefferson’s class, like CeeDee Lamb of the Dallas Cowboys and Tristan Wirfs from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are also waiting for contracts. Jefferson is not alone.

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Earlier this week, ESPN’s Dan Graziano claimed Jefferson’s extension may be drawn out even further, possibly 2-3 more months. The Vikings evidently prefer such deals on or after July 31st. “There’s a number of reasons to think an extension might take until closer to the season. The Vikings have a policy with their signing bonuses where July 31st is kind of a key date, and they might want to wait until after that,” Graziano recently stated on NFL Live.

Jefferson is expected to tip the scales in the ballpark of $32-$35 million per season via the next contract, on deck to earn the largest wide receiver contract in NFL history and perhaps become the richest non-quarterback ever.

Graziano added, “And think about the agent, Brian Ayrault, who represents Justin Jefferson. Last year, he represented Joe Burrow and Nick Bosa. Burrow, now the highest-paid player in the league, Bosa, now the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league, and those deals got done pretty close to the start of the regular season. So I would preach patience on the Justin Jefferson deal.”

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General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah hinted after April’s draft that an extension was close. He said, “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.”

Both of the team’s foremost leaders, Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell, have claimed in the last three weeks that Jefferson’s extension is a no-brainer. The when is just the kicker.

Jefferson will turn 25 next month.


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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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