Popular Website Changes Tune on Justin Jefferson Trade Talk

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

It went from the Minnesota Vikings “playing games” with Justin Jefferson regarding his contract extension to a deal possibly coming to fruition next week.

Popular Website Changes Tune on Justin Jefferson Trade Talk

Pro Football Talk has sparked an odyssey of Jefferson-themed takes lately, dating back to the NFL draft lead-up. The site banged the drum on Jefferson trade theories then and, as recently as last week, claimed the Vikings’ front office was playing some form of hardball with the phenom playmaker.

justin jefferson
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But that changed on Wednesday when Mike Florio wrote in an article about Tyreek Hill’s desire for a new contract, “It’s entirely possible (if not probable … if not likely) that Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson will have a new contract as soon as next week. If that happens, it will re-set the market — and it will give Hill a new target.”

The theory is a total reversal from last week.

“If you want him, you pay him. If you don’t, you trade him. You don’t do this half-measure; we’re gonna play games with him. And my intel is, from Jefferson’s perspective, there may be a perception that they’re playing games with him, and that doesn’t end well. F around and find out is the mantra that they need to keep in mind if they are indeed effing around with JJ,” Florio opined about a week ago on KFAN.

Two days ago, re-upping a theory originally ignited by himself during the draft about Minnesota reportedly seeking wide receiver Malik Nabers, Florio noted, “If other teams didn’t have reason to contact the Vikings about a possible deal, they do now. And the Vikings quite possibly are waiting for someone to blow them away with an offer they can’t refuse. Will that happen? More specifically, will another team combine a massive contract offer to Jefferson with the kind of trade package that would prompt the Vikings to make a move?”

Cousins Critic Does
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And before the draft, PFT spent ample time advancing Jefferson trade rumors. Florio wrote in April, “The clock keeps ticking. The draft is coming. Could the end result be Jefferson plus the 11th pick to the Commanders for the Jayden Daniels pick? Jefferson plus No. 11 to the Patriots for No. 3? The Vikings can end that narrative by making the investment in Jefferson, now. Until they do, it’s possible that they’ll give up and trade him — and it’s definite that the price will keep increasing,”

Florio added before the draft, “If they intend to pay him, what’s the delay? It won’t get cheaper over time. The best thing to do is to just do it now, make him happy, and move forward. And if, after months of negotiations, the Vikings realize they’re never going to make him happy, they need to send him to someone who will. The Vikings are clearly exasperated by the situation.”

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Meanwhile, Vikings general manager Adofo-Mensah answered a question about Jefferson’s contract status right after the draft: “Whenever we sign him, we want Justin to have his whole week … I think Justin would deserve his whole month if we signed a contract to celebrate it.”

Two weeks ago, head Kevin O’Connell mentioned Jefferson’s contract status, “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.”

So, it seems that PFT is coming around to aligning with Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell’s words. It’s been a journey.

Most believed any Jefferson-related trade concoctions were bogus when O’Connell said in February that trading Jefferson was ridiculous. O’Connell told PFT Live, “Let me dissect it for you. We have had zero discussions, dialogue about that, either internally, externally, on this planet or another planet.”

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 MIN 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.