Here’s Why Vikings’ Deal With Justin Jefferson May Be Delayed

Justin Jefferson, Vikings, NFL
NFL Analysis Network

The Minnesota Vikings have yet to strike a long-term contract extension with wide receiver Justin Jefferson, which has many wondering just what the Vikings are doing.

But there may be a plan in place.

During a recent appearance on NFL Live, ESPN’s Dan Graziano provided an update on negotiations between Minnesota and Jefferson, stating that he wouldn’t be surprised if talks drag deep into the summer.

Graziano notes that the situation with Jefferson is different from other receivers who landed extensions this offseason, like A.J. Brown of the Philadelphia Eagles and Amon-Ra St. Brown of the Detroit Lions.

He says that Jefferson is looking to become the highest-paid non-quarterback in football, which certainly makes his deal more complicated.

As for why negotiations may go well into the summer?

Graziano also mentions that the Vikings have a team policy as far as how they handle signing bonuses, and a key date for them regarding that subject is July 31. Additionally, Jefferson’s agent is Brian Ayrault, who also represents Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa.

Burrow and Bosa both landed extensions last year, with Burrow becoming the richest player in football and Bosa becoming the highest-paid non-quarterback (for now). Both of those deals happened just before the 2023 regular season began.

So, taking all of those things into consideration, it’s not too surprising that the Jefferson deal may be taking a long time to consummate.

There were some who wondered if the Vikings could potentially trade the superstar pass-catcher before the NFL Draft late last month, but Minnesota didn’t even entertain the possibility.

Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has maintained that the team is not moving Jefferson and that something will get done eventually.

Everyone is just going to have to remain patient.

Jefferson, who played his collegiate football at LSU, was selected by Minnesota with the 22nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

He has since established himself as arguably the best receiver in football, posting historic numbers over his first several seasons.

His best year to date came in 2022, when he led the league in both receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809) to go along with eight touchdowns.

The 24-year-old made three straight Pro Bowls to begin his career, capping it off with a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2022. He missed seven games due to injury last season, but still managed to catch 68 passes for 1,074 yards and five scores.

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