Talks on a new deal between the Vikings and wideout Justin Jefferson took place in advance of the 2023 campaign, but they did not produce an agreement. The sides will no doubt prioritize a resumption of negotiations this offseason.
The Vikings made a late push to hammer out a contract prior to Week 1, but the sides agreed to table negotiations until the end of the campaign. Jefferson followed up his Offensive Player of the Year season in strong fashion despite missing seven games due to a hamstring injury. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark, adding to the historic three-year run which began his career.
As a result of his production, the 24-year-old is in line to receive the largest WR contract in NFL history. He is on the books for one more season via the $19.74MM fifth-year option, but a second pact will check in at a far higher figure. When asked about where things stand on that front, Jefferson expressed a desire to remain with the Vikings for the long term. A hometown discount should not be expected, though.
“I want to break the bank and I want to be a part of an organization that wants me, and to really give me what I deserve,” the LSU alum told Adam Schein of Mad Dog Sports Radio (video link). “I feel like eventually, the Vikings will do what they need to do to have me in the building, but I don’t really know at this very moment; only time will tell.”
Tyreek Hill became the first wideout to average $30MM per year when he inked an extension upon arrival with the Dolphins. Three other receivers are at an AAV of $25MM or more, but Jefferson’s age, statistical output and durability – with the exception of this year’s injury, which the team approached with caution before his IR activation – should allow him to reset the top of the market.
The Vikings currently sit mid-pack in terms of cap space, and the team has a number of critical free agent decisions to make. Quarterback Kirk Cousins and edge rusher Danielle Hunter headline the team’s list of pending free agents, and negotiations on a new deal for the former in particular will inform much of Minnesota’s other offseason moves. In any case, though, getting Jefferson on the book for 2025 and beyond will a key priority, and it will be interesting to see how much progress is made on extension talks this offseason.