Vikings GM Sets Record Straight on Justin Jefferson Trade Theories

Judgment Day
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

In the last month, about 10 prominent NFL media sources have speculated the Minnesota Vikings could ultimately trade Justin Jefferson, a tactic to enhance roster construction while offloading one of the league’s top players.

Vikings GM Sets Record Straight on Justin Jefferson Trade Theories

No Vikings leader, Jefferson personally, or his representation has ever hinted at any trade, but folks consider the idea too irresistible. And there’s no real explanation for it other than driving the offseason content machine.

Reaffirms Stance
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah spoke to reporters at the 2024 NFL Combine, and predictably, the young executive was asked about possibly trading Jefferson. He replied, “That is not something that has ever crossed my mind.”

Adofo-Mensah also said any noise about Jefferson’s deal not getting done was “false” and that he and Jefferson’s representation were incredibly close last year to finalizing a long-term extension.

Vikings GM Sets
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

The takeaway? Jefferson will not be traded, no matter how many articles are published or how many NFL experts claim the possibility is in play.

Earlier this month, Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd advanced the theory. “I’ve got an idea. New England’s got the No. 3 pick. What does New England desperately need? A playmaker. Justin Jefferson — switch picks, I’ll give you next year’s (first-rounder) and Justin Jefferson to go from 11 to 3,” Cowherd said on The Herd.

He added, “Because they’ve already got Jordan Addison, they’ve got the tight end they like (T.J. Hockenson). They’ve got skill players. Next year’s one and Justin Jefferson to move up to the number three spot to get your quarterback.”

Will Justin Jefferson Break
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

In January, Pioneer Press published a similar idea advanced by Charley Walters. “There could be a better chance of Jefferson, 24, getting traded than anybody’s saying. That’s because it doesn’t make sense to pay the NFL’s best receiver the money he wants (expected to be at least $150 million over five years) on a team that’s not expected to be seriously competitive for several more years.”

And those are just the tip of the iceberg. More than half a dozen more prominent media personalities have spent the last month concocting Jefferson trade scenarios — all a waste of time, according to Adofo-Mensah’s steadfastness that Jefferson won’t depart the club.

from Vikings End
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

Bleacher Report has also mentioned a Jefferson trade this offseason.

Adofo-Mensah took over Minnesota’s front office two years ago and, from day one, announced the franchise would undergo a “competitive rebuild.” It would be incredibly odd to begin a full reset now, this far into the experiment. Trading Jefferson — or anything similar — is what a new general manager would do at the beginning of the rebuild, not near its conclusion.

And that’s probably why Adofo-Mensah was dumbfounded at the Combine by trade-Jefferson theories.


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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