Minnesota Vikings Coach Gets Honest About Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson, Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings
NFL Analysis Network

The Minnesota Vikings have not yet reached a long-term extension with wide receiver Justin Jefferson, even though Jefferson is headed into the final year of his deal.

This has understandably sparked trade speculation around Jefferson, especially considering the Vikings allowed quarterback Kirk Cousins to walk via free agency.

The chatter has only gotten louder since Jefferson was absent at the start of Minnesota’s voluntary offseason workouts.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell spoke on the situation concerning Jefferson this week and said he hopes to have him back soon.

“I’ve had a lot of great dialogue with Justin throughout even the early part of this offseason. My hope is we can get him get him around the team,” O’Connell said, via the Vikings’ official YouTube account. “He’s obviously such a special player, but it goes beyond that, especially this time of year, because the energy: when he’s in this building, he goes to work and how teammates respond to him. … want him here as much as we can have him, but I also understand there’s a lot of factors involved.”

Jefferson is expected to become the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history, so obviously, working out the specifics of his new deal may prove complicated.

The 24-year-old, who played his collegiate football at LSU, was selected by Minnesota with the 22nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

He has stamped his name among the league’s best receivers, making the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons and also earning a First-Team All-Pro selection.

In 2022, Jefferson led the NFL in both receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809) to go along with eight touchdowns.

He missed seven games this past season due to a hamstring injury, but he still managed to catch 68 passes for 1,074 yards and five scores.

We’ll see if the Vikings are able to strike a deal with Justin Jefferson in the coming months.

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