New Update Swats Away Any Justin Jefferson-Related Anxiety

Jefferson Makes His
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

If you want Justin Jefferson to be a member of the Minnesota Vikings for the long haul, you’ll be a happy man or woman before too long.

New Update Swats Away Any Justin Jefferson-Related Anxiety

Some, mainly a handful of media members, have speculated amid the last six weeks that the Vikings could ultimately trade Jefferson if he didn’t reach an extension with the club. Of course, that could be a grand endgame resolution, but the realism of such a maneuver is still only speculative. Vikings leaders have said for a year — down the line from the owners, the general manager to the head coach — they want Jefferson in purple for a long time, but various media outlets enjoy claiming that a trade is on the table.

Update Swats Away
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Well, ESPN published an article Thursday that swats away Jefferson-related anxiety. Kevin Seifert wrote, “The Vikings are not playing hardball, and Jefferson has no reluctance about playing in Minnesota, multiple sources said during the 2023 season. Jefferson has publicly endorsed the return of free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, but the unsettled nature of the position has not been a central focus of the talks, either.”

Drafted in 2020, the phenom playmaker was eligible for an extension last offseason, but the sides couldn’t quite finalize a deal before the 2023 regular season kicked off, postponing the inevitable second-contract talks to, well, now. Other 1st-Rounders from Jefferson’s draft class, like CeeDee Lamb (Dallas Cowboys) and Tristan Wirfs (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), are in the same boat — seeking extensions this offseason.

Jefferson Smashes
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Seifert added, “Jefferson has willingly answered questions for months about his ongoing contract negotiations. His genial replies have avoided alarming headlines, but a clear theme has emerged: From Jefferson’s perspective, there is no precedent to the deal he will eventually sign — with the Vikings or another team — because there is no precedent to what he’s produced during his first four NFL seasons. Understanding that mindset helps inform why — more than a year after Jefferson became eligible for an extension — there has been no new contract.”

So, the perceived hold-up involves the unprecedented nature of the extension; no wide receiver has ever played this well through his first four seasons in the NFL, and Jefferson wants to cash in.

Jefferson said at the Super Bowl’s radio row two weeks ago, “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.”

Dazzles with 1
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports.

His new contract should fetch $30 million per season or more.

Justin also mentioned at radio row, “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.”

On the whole, the story of Jefferson’s extension has remained consistent. The Vikings indisputably want the man in Minnesota for years and aren’t remotely looking to trade him, as some have suggested. Per the ESPN reporting, Jefferson has “no reluctance” about re-upping with the Vikings.

It’s all about the deal’s scale. How big via dollars and cents, and how long.

Offseason Is Different
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah at the 2023 NFL Combine the Week of February 27th. The Vikings have the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

“I don’t want to be the Vikings’ GM without that guy on our team,” general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said one year ago about Jefferson’s eventual extension at the 2023 NFL Combine.

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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