NFL Insider Issues Worrisome Update On Vikings, Justin Jefferson Situation

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals
NFL Analysis Network

The general consensus for quite some time has been that the Minnesota Vikings will ultimately reach a long-term agreement with wide receiver Justin Jefferson, but it apparently isn’t quite that simple.

A recent report from The St. Paul Pioneer Press stated that the Vikings actually considered moving up in the NFL Draft to take LSU wide out Malik Nabers. That then would have signaled Minnesota would have been open to trading Jefferson.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated says that if those talks took place, they didn’t get very far. However, he thinks the contract extensions for top receivers A.J. Brown and Amon-Ra St. Brown have actually complicated the Vikings’ negotiations with Jefferson.

Breer adds that Jefferson took on an extra year of injury risk by not signing a long-term deal when he became eligible for one last season and ended up injuring his hamstring this past season.

He concludes by saying that he does think a deal will eventually get done, but this has certainly been one heck of a saga in Minnesota.

The Vikings Cannot Mishandle Justin Jefferson Negotiations

Most would probably agree that the Vikings have not exactly handled their situation with Jefferson very well.

They have really dragged their feet in terms of striking a pact with the superstar pass-catcher, and even this offseason with Jefferson preparing to enter the final year of his deal, there doesn’t seem to be a real sense of urgency. At least that’s what it looks like from the outside.

The good news for Minnesota is that Jefferson has not expressed any discontent. Not publicly, anyway. Jefferson has remained a good soldier throughout the entire process. He has remained patient and said all the right things. But at some point, his patience will start wearing thin.

Let’s be honest: Jefferson can find a better situation elsewhere. The Vikings just let Kirk Cousins walk in free agency and drafted J.J. McCarthy with the 10th overall pick, indicating that they are at least going with a soft reset. Surely, there are plenty of contending teams around the NFL that would love to add Jefferson, and he definitely knows it.

That’s why Minnesota should probably really get a move on, especially considering that Dallas Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb is yet to sign his long-term deal.

Lamb will almost certainly land more than Brown, who just became the highest-paid wide out in the NFL at $32 million annually. If Lamb signs before Jefferson, it will increase Jefferson’s price tag even further.

Justin Jefferson is already on track to become the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history. If the Vikings really want to hold on to him for the long haul, they should just get something done now before things get ugly.

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