Vikings GM Offers an Encouraging Update on the Justin Jefferson Extension

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Stunningly, the Minnesota Vikings and Justin Jefferson couldn’t agree to an extension during the 2023 offseason.

Minnesota’s ownership, general manager, and head coach all spoke about the desire to keep the WR1 in town. Jefferson spoke in harmony with the organization, similarly giving voice to a shared desire to continue being an employee of the Minnesota Vikings. Still, there was no extension prior to the regular season.

Thankfully, the initial word is that the Vikings GM isn’t going to let another offseason pass without agreeing to an extension.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell met with the media today. Predictably, Adofo-Mensah was asked to address where things stood with the team’s cornerstone player: “Had a great actually dialogue with his representation this morning.”

Not too long afterwards, the GM explained that he has “a great relationship” with Jefferson’s agent and that their “shared history” alongside doing “a lot of the work last season” puts them in a nice position. “Looking forward to those conversations,” Adofo-Mensah added.

Vikings GM Offers Good News on the Justin Jefferson Front

Justin Jefferson needed to miss seven full games.

He then missed part of a pair of other games. Upon his return, he was a passenger within Minnesota’s QB rollercoaster. Even still, he surpassed 1,000 receiving yards.

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In fact, Jefferson led the Vikings in receiving yards with 1,074. At no point in his four years with the Vikings has he been anywhere other than the pole position. His 1,400 yards in 2020, 1,616 yards in 2021, and 1,809 yards in 2022 led Minnesota in each instance.

If the Vikings GM gets his way, the trend will continue for years to come.

Minnesota is moving into the offseason with needs aplenty but a decent amount of cap space. Over the Cap is putting things around $37.3 million in room, but that’s before factoring the bevy of recent signings into the mix. Working the lower-level deals into the budget will mean that Kwesi is closer to $27.5 million in cap space (as Jason Fitzgerald estimates).

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What’s encouraging is that the projected budget already accounts for Mr. Jefferson gobbling up close to $20 million in cap space (to be precise, $19,743,000). An extension has the potential to liberate $14,894,400 in added room for the 2024 budget.

Ask yourself: could the Vikings find a productive use for nearly $15 million in 2024?

Danielle Hunter and Kirk Cousins will (understandably) demand a ton of attention, but they’re far from alone when it comes Minnesota’s internal free agents. Players like D.J. Wonnum, Jordan Hicks, Greg Joseph, Dalton Risner, and several other will all be considered by Minnesota’s leadership.

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The good news is that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah isn’t wasting any time when it comes to getting back to the negotiating table. He has confirmed that his relationship with Jefferson’s agent remains strong and that much of the work has already been done.

Expect a new deal to get done before too long. Averaging more than $30 million per season and seeing the total guarantees surpass $80 million is the expectation.

Justin Jefferson doesn’t turn 25 until June 16th. The hope from Vikings fans is that he’ll be a very, very wealthy man by the time his birthday arrives.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.