Minnesota Vikings Superstar Justin Jefferson Gets Honest On Massive Extension

Justin Jefferson, Vikings
NFL Analysis Network

The Minnesota Vikings signed wide receiver Justin Jefferson to a four-year, $140 million contract extension on Monday, making him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history.

Jefferson spoke out on the deal afterward, and he was understandably thrilled.

This deal was a long time coming for Jefferson.

In an NFL offseason where numerous other wide outs landed big-time extensions, everyone was waiting for the other shoe to drop. That shoe was Jefferson.

Jefferson is widely viewed as the best receiver in football, so when Philadelphia Eagles star A.J. Brown became the league’s highest-paid receiver on a three-year, $96 million deal, everyone expected Jefferson to land a contract worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $35 million annually.

That’s exactly what happened.

The Vikings Made the Right Decision

If the Vikings would have botched these negotiations, they never would have been able to live it down.

And you know what? Early on, it looked like they were going to.

Jefferson became eligible for a new deal last offseason, but Minnesota did not provide him with one. He then injured his hamstring during the 2023 campaign, playing in just 10 games as a result.

Then, the Vikings came out of the gates very slow this offseason, and back in March and April, some were wondering exactly what Minnesota was doing.

Jefferson said all of the right things and remained patient throughout the process, but you have to imagine that even he was growing frustrated as things continued to drag out.

But finally, the Vikings were able to land Jefferson on a long-term pact.

Now, incoming rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy will have Jefferson at his disposal for the foreseeable future. McCarty may not start right out of the gate in 2024, but when he does finally take the reins under center, he will be able to throw passes to one of the best receivers the game may have ever seen. That is a huge confidence booster for a young signal-caller.

Imagine if Minnesota would have failed to come to terms with Jefferson before the season? Or worse, if the Vikings would have traded the 25-year-old as it was rumored?

It would have left McCarthy out in the cold, and that was clearly not what Minnesota wanted to do to its new franchise quarterback (or at least so the Vikings hope).

The Vikings selected Jefferson in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons, leading the league in both receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809) in 2022. He even managed to catch 68 passes for 1,074 yards and five touchdowns this past season in spite of missing seven games.

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