Justin Jefferson Contract Negotiations Drag On; Deal Feels Likely Before Vikings Opener

NFL: Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings and Justin Jefferson contract negotiations have been ongoing for much of the offseason, but they’re yet to find middle ground fertile enough to get a deal done. Still, panic hasn’t set in on either side. At least, that’s the vibe being sent out by both JJ and Vikings brass.

Justin Jefferson contract imminent?

Jefferson is still practicing with the team, unlike other players in the organization who have been suffering from contract-related injuries for much of training camp, and he seems unphased by the ongoing negotiations. Is that because a deal is imminent?

Nobody is preparing a fancy pen for JJ quite yet but insider reports on Monday and Tuesday seem to suggest a deal will be struck before Minnesota’s season begins on September 10 vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

No one’s talking much about it, but the Vikings are making an effort to get wide receiver Justin Jefferson signed before the season starts. Jefferson’s kept a pretty low profile about this one, and talks, as far as I can tell, have gone fine. When I visited with him a few weeks back, he told me his absence from parts of the offseason were about endorsement opportunities, not the contract. He did call getting a life-altering second contract “a dream of mine. It’s been a dream since I was 7 years old.” But then he added, “I’m definitely not letting that contract stuff get in the way of my team. We have to be focused on getting to the Super Bowl.” Easier to do, of course, when you know, sooner or later, you’ll be paid at the top of the market.

Albert Breer – Sports Illustrated

Pay the man.

Justin Jefferson deserves every penny he eventually gets from the Wilf family. He is off to the best start of any wide receiver in NFL history (324 REC, 4,825 YDS, 25 TD in first 3 seasons). JJ also led the league in receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809) in 2022.

He just turned 24, too, and shows no sign of slowing down. He was listed as the 2nd best player in the league and #1 wide receiver by a jury of his peers, in this year’s “Top 100” list and should be sitting on another monster season, in Kevin O’Connell’s offense for his second-straight year.

Rick Spielman had his ups and downs during his decade-long run as the Minnesota Vikings’ head decision-maker but there’s no doubt drafting Justin Jefferson #22 overall in the 2020 draft will go down as the best draft pick he ever made.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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