Justin Jefferson

Extension Talks Between Vikings, Justin Jefferson To Be Tabled To 2024

A push was made by the Vikings to work out an extension with Justin Jefferson, but they have come up short. The reigning Offensive Player of the Year will play the 2023 season without a new deal in place, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter adds that both the Vikings and the All-Pro wideout made an effort to reach agreement on a mega-contract in time for tomorrow’s season opener, but nothing is expected to be signed in the next few hours. As a result, the parties will press pause on negotiations until after the campaign is over. Jefferson will thus earn $2.39MM in salary this season in anticipation of a dramatic raise in the spring.

The 24-year-old was the subject of a late-summer push on Minnesota’s part to get a deal worked out in time for Week 1. That news followed a lengthy stretch without updates on the status of negotiations, and it confirmed the team’s willingness to make Jefferson a central part of their long-term plans. His personal preference was to have an agreement in place by Sunday, but he will now shift his attention to another hugely productive season in line with the three has had authored so far.

Jefferson comfortably holds the record for most receiving yards in the first three seasons of a player’s career (4,825), meaning his second contract will be enormous. The matter of injury guarantees (and their scheduling within the pact) were mentioned earlier this offseason as a potential issue, but it is unclear at this point what caused the failure for a deal to be reached.

Minnesota’s financial outlook looks much different moving forward after an offseason filled with a number of veteran departures. Jefferson is part of a young core the team will look to invest in – as it did recently with the extension for tight end T.J. Hockenson. Plenty of questions regarding the Vikings’ spending power in 2024 and beyond will be answered when clarity emerges regarding quarterback Kirk Cousins‘ future. The latter is set to hit free agency after the season, and Minnesota does not have a long-term successor in place at the moment.

Waiting until the conclusion of Year 4 to sign a new pact can be a risky proposition for players, but those at the top of their positional markets can ensure a major payday while remaining successful from an individual and team perspective. Nick Bosa‘s record-breaking deal for defensive players was signed just before his fifth season began, providing an example of patience (and in Bosa’s case, a training camp holdout) paying off. The lengths Jefferson will go to next spring if negotiations hit a snag upon resumption will make his situation worth watching closely.

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Addresses Contract Situation

After weeks of silence on this front, the Vikings are indeed trying to extend Justin Jefferson before the start of this season. The star receiver became extension-eligible in January and, if not extended within the next three days, would enter Week 1 as the NFL’s 65th-highest-paid wideout.

Jefferson confirmed contract talks are ongoing, indicating (via ESPN’s Kevin Seifert) he would prefer to have an extension done before the season. Extension talks could presumably continue into the season, though Jefferson stopped short of guaranteeing that would happen. The 2020 first-round pick is tied to a $2.39MM base salary.

The Vikings have Jefferson signed through 2024, after exercising his $19.74MM fifth-year option. Since teams could begin exercising options back in 2014 — three years after they were introduced in the 2011 CBA — no club has extended a first-round wideout with more than a year of control remaining. History would suggest Jefferson’s extension comes next year, and a previous report pointed to that timeline being a team preference. As we head toward Week 1, however, the Vikings are working hard to hammer out a deal and keep Jefferson happy, Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes (subscription required).

I don’t think it’s the most important thing,” Jefferson said of his contract, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Mark Craig. “But it is what it is at the end of the day. My agent and the Vikings are having conversations about that. My job is to play football. Have a smile on my face every day. Have the work ethic I have every single day and lead this team because I want to be a role model and a person people look up to, especially on this team. I know the better I play, the more money I get.”

Shattering Randy Moss‘ NFL standard for the most receiving yards through three seasons, getting to 4,825 last season, Jefferson is a mortal lock to become the NFL’s highest-paid receiver. Questions will pertain to contract structure and how much of a salary gap will exist between Jefferson and the field. Tyreek Hill‘s $30MM (featuring an inflated final year to create that AAV) leads the way among receivers. Jefferson would take a risk by playing a fourth season on his rookie contract, but he has never missed a game due to injury. Superstars like Aaron Donald and Nick Bosa also played out their fourth seasons before resetting positional markets ahead of Year 5.

Considering the complexities this contract could bring, it would not surprise if it was not completed by Sunday. The Vikings are not in danger of losing exclusive negotiating rights with Jefferson, as he is not eligible for free agency until 2025. The LSU alum also has virtually no chance of reaching the market at that point. If the Vikings do hammer out a Jefferson deal in the next few days, they would go into the season with the NFL’s highest-paid wideout and second-highest-paid tight end. T.J. Hockenson is now attached to a four-year, $66MM extension.

Vikings Pushing For Justin Jefferson Extension Before Regular Season

A regular topic early in the offseason, the prospect of a Justin Jefferson extension before his fourth season lost steam this summer. T.J. Hockenson, who is going into a contract year, appears to be staging a hold-in. But the Vikings have not given up on extending their best player early.

Via the fifth-year option, the Vikings have Jefferson signed through 2024. Since teams became eligible to sign their 2011 first-round picks, during the 2014 offseason, no franchise has given a first-round wide receiver an extension with two years of control remaining. This is the 10th offseason since fifth-year options became an annual transaction, but the Vikings have seen Jefferson soar to unprecedented heights over his first three years and look to still be considering an exception to this rule.

The NFL’s all-time leader (by a wide margin) in receiving yards through three seasons, Jefferson became extension-eligible in January. Preliminary talks occurred earlier this year, but a June report indicated the Vikings may be more keen on hammering out a record-setting Jefferson re-up in 2024. But SI.com’s Albert Breer notes the Vikings are indeed aiming to have a Jefferson extension in place before Week 1.

This is quite the complex stretch for the Vikes, who have Hockenson angling to become the NFL’s highest-paid tight end. Jefferson will undoubtedly become the league’s highest-paid receiver when he signs his second contract, but will Minnesota complete both of these deals within the next two weeks? Hockenson is going into his fifth-year option season and is far from the NFL’s best tight end. Jefferson, 24, has a clear claim to being the best player at his position.

After some cost cuts and trades this offseason, the Vikings sit at $10.8MM in cap space. Unlike some other players with contract issues this year, Jefferson did not skip minicamp or stage a hold-in. It will be interesting to see if an increased sense of urgency forms here, with the All-Pro wideout 13 days from playing on a $2.4MM base salary. The Vikings have the option of stringing this out, via the fifth-year option and a 2025 franchise tag, but the organization appears interested in making a last-ditch effort to wrap this up soon.

Tyreek Hill‘s $30MM-per-year contract has represented the wideout ceiling since March 2022, but an inflated final year of the Dolphins star’s contract was necessary to drag the AAV to that $30MM place. Jefferson will likely not need a backloaded deal to inflate the AAV, and given the cap being back on the rise and a four-year age gap existing between Jefferson and Hill, the fourth-year Viking can argue for a push toward $35MM per year. Jefferson dropping another monster season will only increase his price, with the cap expected to move toward or beyond $250MM in 2024.

Vikings Not In Rush To Complete Justin Jefferson Extension?

Last year’s wide receiver market boom set up Justin Jefferson for a monster extension, and the superstar Vikings pass catcher continued his historic ascent with a push for the first 2,000-yard receiving season. While Jefferson fell short (an NFL-most 1,809 yards), he did nothing to remove himself from the record-setting extension track.

Jefferson and the Vikings have begun discussions, but it does not sound like the team is intent on hammering out a deal before the season. Both Kevin O’Connell and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah have indicated a desire to have Jefferson locked down long term, though the former did not want to place a timeline on these talks. The contract is all but certain to set the market at the receiver position. But the Vikings picking up Jefferson’s fifth-year option limits the urgency on the team’s part, since that transaction pushed the All-Pro’s contract through 2024.

[RELATED: Kirk Cousins Not Expecting Contract Talks Until 2024]

Teams do not make a habit of extending non-quarterbacks with two years of control remaining, and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com noted during a recent SportsCenter appearance the Vikings may not be committed to extending their top player just yet. The team is not in a rush here, per Fowler (h/t SI.com’s Joe Nelson), due to both the money involved and the rookie-contract component. Although Minnesota believes Jefferson is a cornerstone player and the league’s best wideout, the NFL’s modern history with receiver extensions may complicate matters.

Since 2014, the first year players given fifth-year options under the 2011 CBA were eligible for extensions, no team has authorized an extension for a first-round receiver before his option year. Star first-round talents like Julio Jones, A.J. Green, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham Jr. and Mike Evans each signed extensions during the offseason of their respective option years. Amari Cooper and Mike Williams played out their option seasons and re-signed during the ensuing offseason. A fairly extensive history exists of teams tabling receiver extensions, but Jefferson’s camp may try to force the issue.

Off to a better statistical start than any of the above-referenced receiver standouts chosen in Round 1 (or any wideout in NFL history), Jefferson skipped Vikings offseason workouts before reporting to minicamp. Jefferson plans to show for training camp, as the 2020 CBA placed stiff penalties on holdouts, but a hold-in measure should not be ruled out. Jefferson’s 4,825 receiving yards are the most through three seasons in NFL history, outpacing the previous three-year pace setter here (Randy Moss) by nearly 700. Jefferson can ramp up the pressure on a Vikings team that needs him by holding in, but if the Vikings do not cave, he will be tied to a $2.39MM salary.

Vikings negotiations with the 24-year-old phenom figure to start north of Tyreek Hill‘s $30MM-per-year deal, and while it took a backloaded deal for the Dolphins wideout t0 land that lofty per-year average, the NFC North pass catcher should be able to secure a $30MM-plus AAV without heavy backloading. The Vikings’ preference to not have injury guarantees vest a year out may be an issue for Jefferson’s camp, though the team made an exception for Cousins. That issue aside, we have not heard any major hiccups in these negotiations. If Jefferson is intent on breaking precedent and landing a monster deal ahead of his fourth season, however, some turbulence could emerge.

The 2020 CBA introduced fully guaranteed fifth-year options, and Jefferson is tied to a $19.74MM 2024 salary as a result. But the option’s existence still restricts first-round picks, while later-round selections are frequently paid before Year 4. Last year featured the receiver standouts from the 2019 second and third rounds — A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin, D.K. Metcalf and Diontae Johnson — secure pre-Year 4 extensions. It will be interesting to see if Jefferson is forced to wait until his fifth offseason for his payout.

Vikings Eyeing Extension For T.J. Hockenson

The Vikings have several talented pass catchers in line for lucrative extensions. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson is understandably dominating the headlines in that regard, and according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, the Jefferson negotiations are occupying the bulk of Minnesota’s attention at the moment (subscription required). Nonetheless, Seifert says that GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah plans to address tight end T.J. Hockenson‘s deal as well, even if that does not happen until later in the summer.

The Vikes acquired Hockenson via an intra-divisional swap with the Lions in advance of the 2022 trade deadline. In 10 regular season games in Minnesota, Hockenson posted 60 catches for 519 yards and three scores. His 8.7 yards per reception rate was somewhat disappointing in light of the 11.1 YPR average he enjoyed over 3+ years in Detroit, but that could be a result of small sample size noise and could improve with a full offseason of work in the Vikings’ offense. Hockenson demonstrated how explosive he can be in the club’s wildcard round loss to the Giants, racking up 10 catches (on 11 targets) for 129 yards.

Hockenson, who will turn 26 next month, is under club control through 2023 since Detroit exercised the fifth-year option of his rookie deal last April. He is due to earn $9.4MM for the upcoming season, which would represent something of a bargain given the current state of the TE market.

At present, 11 TEs are averaging $10MM or more per season, though that list includes Saints’ all-purpose weapon Taysom Hill. Spotrac estimates that Hockenson could score a contract with a $14.4MM AAV on the open market, a figure that would place him behind only the Giants’ Darren Waller and the 49ers’ George Kittle. Waller’s Raiders-constructed deal is comparatively light on guarantees, however, and Hockenson will likely be shooting for between $30MM-$40MM in guaranteed money (Kittle, the Ravens’ Mark Andrews, the Eagles’ Dallas Goedert, and the Bills’ Dawson Knox are the tight ends on non-rookie deals that feature guarantees in that range).

Pro Football Focus’ metrics considered Hockenson the 10th-best tight end in the league in 2022 despite subpar blocking grades. The Vikings did give Josh Oliver a notable free agent deal in March, and he offers plenty of blocking acumen. Plus, as Seifert writes, head coach Kevin O’Connell believes that pairing Hockenson and Oliver will allow his offense to live up to its full potential, and it does not appear that the Oliver signing impacts Hockenson’s future with the club in any way.

In related news, Craig Peters of the Vikings’ official website reports that recently-retired tight end Ben Ellefson will join the team’s staff in a hybrid role that will allow the Minnesota native to “explore coaching, scouting and player development opportunities.”

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Not Planning Training Camp Holdout

Justin Jefferson is eyeing an extension that will make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL. While his camp continues to work with the Vikings on a lucrative extension, the wideout hasn’t shown any interest in holding out. Speaking to reporters this week, Jefferson said he would be at training camp with or without a new contract.

[RELATED: Vikings’ Contractual Preferences To Hinder Justin Jefferson Negotiations?]

Jefferson skipped all of the Vikings voluntary OTAs, but he was in attendance this week for mandatory minicamp. Per ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, Jefferson attributed his previous absences to marketing and endorsement opportunities, and the WR said that the contract talks were “not too much a part of” him skipping the voluntary portion of camp.

“[Negotiations] happen every single year,” Jefferson said (via Seifert). “It’s not something that’s new towards the game. Eventually, we knew we were going to have to talk contract.

“I had a lot of stuff going on. They didn’t really force me to come back too, too much. It didn’t seem like I was missing too, too much. They definitely wanted me back here, and I wanted to be back here, but had a lot going on.”

As Albert Breer of SI.com writes, there’s no good reason for Jefferson to sacrifice money via fines while staging a hold out. After all, both sides seem focused on finalizing a deal, and the team acknowledges that Jefferson’s extension will reset the market. Really, the monetary aspect of the deal should be easy, and Breer believes it’s just a question of how the extension is structured. We previously heard that the Vikings prefer injury guarantees that do not become fully guaranteed until the year the money is due, a potential holdup for Jefferson’s camp.

Jefferson is still playing out his rookie contract and will earn $2.4MM in 2023 and $19.7MM in 2024 (via the fifth-year option). The receiver has topped 1,400 yards in each of his three seasons, and he earned Offensive Player of the Year honors this past season after finishing with 128 receptions for 1,809 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Dolphins made Tyreek Hill the first (and currently only) $30MM/year wideout, although that AAV is partially inflated by an untenable $43.9MM salary in 2026. Davante Adams, Cooper Kupp, and A.J. Brown also top the $25MM/year mark, so Jefferson’s next contract will probably come in around at least $30MM.

Vikings’ Contractual Preferences To Hinder Justin Jefferson Negotiations?

With three years of service time under his belt, Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson is now eligible for an extension. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes, Jefferson has been staying away from the club during offseason workouts as part of his efforts to land what could be the richest WR contract in league history.

The Dolphins made Tyreek Hill the first (and currently only) $30MM/year wideout, though that number is inflated by an untenable $43.9MM salary in 2026, the final year of Hill’s contract. At that time, there will be no guaranteed money left on the deal, so player and team will either have to agree to an extension/restructure, or Hill will simply be released.

Given Jefferson’s age (he will turn 24 this month) and remarkable production over the first three seasons of his professional career, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year has grounds to demand a contract featuring a “legitimate” $30MM AAV. He also has a good chance to top the $75MM of practical guarantees that the Rams authorized for Cooper Kupp almost exactly one year ago.

The problem, according to Florio, is that Minnesota generally prefers to include in its contracts injury guarantees that do not become fully guaranteed until the year the money is due. In other words, as long as the player stays healthy, the Vikings can extricate themselves from the deal with relative ease.

Of course, given the importance of the quarterback position, Minnesota made an exception for Kirk Cousins. It stands to reason that the team would do the same for Jefferson, who not only plays a premium position, but who is arguably the best player at that position despite his youth. Florio asked a source involved in the Jefferson negotiations if the Vikings’ structural preferences would become an issue, and the source simply replied, “we’ll see.”

At this point, there is no reason to think that the two sides will ultimately fail to reach an accord. It just may take awhile to get there, which is often the case with highly-lucrative contracts, especially those that could set a new benchmark at a certain position.

Indeed, while a Jefferson extension is reportedly a top agenda item for the Vikings, head coach Kevin O’Connell recently suggested that there is still a great deal of work to be done.

“I don’t know if I’d put a timeline on it,” O’Connell said last month. “I just know that, you know, we very much are looking forward to having Justin play here for a really long time. … I look forward to when we get that done and we can move forward knowing that Justin’s going to be here for the long term and we will get that done. Justin knows, his representation knows exactly how we feel about him.”

In 2022, Jefferson led the league in receptions (128) and yards (1,809). He also tallied eight receiving touchdowns and threw in a rushing score for good measure. He finished fifth in MVP voting.

Latest On Vikings, Justin Jefferson

With much of the roster-building portion of the offseason done with, many teams are shifting attention to extensions with their top in-house players. In the Vikings’ case, that means a new deal for wideout Justin Jefferson is an obvious priority.

The reigning Offensive Player of the Year has put up the most productive three-year start to a career in NFL history, meaning a second contract will no doubt be a lucrative one. Jefferson could easily command a deal placing him amongst the highest-paid receivers in the league, something which would be particularly noteworthy given the recent surge in the positions’ market.

14 wideouts average $20MM or more per season on their current contracts, while Miami’s Tyreek Hill became the league’s first ever $30MMM-per-year player at the position in 2022. Talks between the Vikings and Jefferson will likely be centered around where he fits in he receiver pecking order given not only his statistical achievements, but also his age (23) relative to the league’s other highly-paid WRs.

“I don’t know if I’d put a timeline on it,” Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said of a Jefferson extension, via Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio“I just know that, you know, we very much are looking forward to having Justin play here for a really long time… I look forward to when we get that done and we can move forward knowing that Justin’s going to be here for the long term and we will get that done. Justin knows, his representation knows exactly how we feel about him.”

Those comments echo ones made by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah earlier this offseason on the topic of getting a new deal done with Jefferson this offseason, the first in which one can be signed. The LSU alum has one year remaining on his rookie contract, and Minnesota made the obvious decision of picking up his fifth-year option (worth $19.74MM) for 2024.

While that will keep Jefferson on the books for the short-term future, a mega-deal being finalized in the coming weeks or months would come as little surprise. The Vikings currently find themselves in worse cap shape than all but the Buccaneers at the moment, but clarity could emerge next offseason when quarterback Kirk Cousins‘ deal expires. By that point, Jefferson could very well find himself as the league’s highest-paid receiver.

2024 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 2 to officially pick up fifth-year options on 2020 first-rounders who are entering the final year of their rookie deals. The 2020 CBA revamped the option structure and made them fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, fifth-year option salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement and performance- and usage-based benchmarks:

  • Two-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • One-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the third-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • At least a 75% snap rate in two of their first three seasons
    • A 75% snap average across all three seasons
    • At least 50% in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will receive the average of the third-25th top salaries at their position.

With the deadline looming, we’ll use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

  1. QB Joe Burrow, Bengals ($29.5MM): Exercised
  2. DE Chase Young, Commanders ($17.45MM): Declined
  3. CB Jeff Okudah, Falcons* ($11.51MM): N/A
  4. T Andrew Thomas, Giants ($14.18MM): Exercised
  5. QB Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins ($23.2MM): Exercised
  6. QB Justin Herbert, Chargers ($29.5MM): Exercised
  7. DT Derrick Brown, Panthers ($11.67MM): Exercised 
  8. LB Isaiah Simmons, Cardinals ($12.72MM): Declined
  9. CB C.J. Henderson, Jaguars** ($11.51MM): Declined
  10. T Jedrick Wills, Browns ($14.18MM): Exercised
  11. T Mekhi Becton, Jets ($12.57MM): Declined
  12. WR Henry Ruggs, Raiders: N/A
  13. T Tristan Wirfs, Buccaneers ($18.24MM): Exercised
  14. DT Javon Kinlaw, 49ers ($10.46MM): Declined
  15. WR Jerry Jeudy, Broncos ($14.12MM): Exercised
  16. CB AJ Terrell, Falcons ($12.34MM): Exercised
  17. WR CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys ($17.99MM): Exercised
  18. OL Austin Jackson, Dolphins ($14.18MM): Declined
  19. CB Damon Arnette, Raiders: N/A
  20. DE K’Lavon Chaisson, Jaguars ($12.14MM): Declined
  21. WR Jalen Reagor, Vikings*** ($12.99MM): To decline
  22. WR Justin Jefferson, Vikings ($19.74MM): Exercised
  23. LB Kenneth Murray, Chargers ($11.73MM): Declined
  24. G Cesar Ruiz, Saints ($14.18MM): Declined
  25. WR Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers ($14.12MM): Exercised
  26. QB Jordan Love, Packers ($20.27MM): Extended through 2024
  27. LB Jordyn Brooks, Seahawks ($12.72MM): Declined
  28. LB Patrick Queen, Ravens ($12.72MM): Declined
  29. T Isaiah Wilson, Titans: N/A
  30. CB Noah Igbinoghene, Dolphins ($11.51MM): Declined
  31. CB Jeff Gladney, Vikings: N/A
  32. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs ($5.46MM): To decline

* = Lions traded Okudah on April 11, 2023
** = Jaguars traded Henderson on Sept. 27, 2021
*** = Eagles traded Reagor on August 31, 2022

Vikings Exercise Justin Jefferson’s Fifth-Year Option

Justin Jefferson has submitted one of the greatest three-year runs to start a wide receiver career in NFL history. Statistically speaking, it is the best start to a wideout’s career.

This has led the Vikings to discuss an extension this offseason, rather than waiting until 2024 — ahead of Jefferson’s fifth-year option season. Minnesota officially extended Jefferson’s rookie contract through 2024 on Tuesday, making the automatic call to pick up the LSU product’s fifth-year option, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

This will tie the three-time Pro Bowler to a fully guaranteed $19.74MM salary next year. The Vikings will look to make sure the former No. 22 overall pick does not play on that option. It will require a record-setting deal to prevent that. The only question regarding Jefferson’s extension will be how much of a gap forms between the Vikings’ superstar pass catcher and the field.

Jefferson’s 4,825 receiving yards through three seasons shattered Randy Moss‘ NFL record (4,163). While Jefferson plays in a slightly friendlier passing era, the gulf between the 2020 first-rounder and the field is eye-popping at this juncture in his career. Only three wideouts in NFL history (Jefferson, Moss, Odell Beckham Jr.) have topped 3,900 receiving yards through three seasons. A.J. Green is the only other player who reached 3,800, illustrating the rarefied air Jefferson reached in 2022. Jefferson made a push at Calvin Johnson‘s single-season record last year but fell short; still, his 1,809 receiving yards are the sixth-most in NFL history.

Tyreek Hill set the bar for receiver extensions last year, pushing it to $30MM per annum. A.J. Brown‘s $56MM fully guaranteed represents the high-water mark on that front. Jefferson, who is going into his age-24 season, should be expected to surpass both. Teams typically do not prefer to extend non-quarterbacks with more than a year of rookie-contract control remaining. But Jefferson could become an exception, given the impact he has made for the Vikings.

The 2020 CBA has also done well to limit holdouts, as the ramifications — fines and the prospect of delaying a player’s free agency by a year — have proven too severe for players to risk that leverage play. We are months away from any sort of Jefferson-Vikes standoff, and nothing thus far has indicated the sides are out of sync on a potential 2023 extension. GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah stopped short of saying extending Jefferson this year will be a team mandate, and seeing as this option decision locks in Jefferson for 2024, it will be interesting to see if the fourth-year wide receiver makes a legitimate push to secure a windfall this year over taking his chances and waiting for next offseason.

Previous Vikings GM Rick Spielman made Jefferson the fifth receiver drafted in 2020, following Henry Ruggs (Raiders), Jerry Jeudy (Broncos), CeeDee Lamb (Cowboys) and Jalen Reagor (Eagles). Jefferson’s numbers dwarf his peers’, and his eventual payday stands to as well. For now, Jefferson is tied to a $2.4MM base salary in 2023.