Justin Jefferson Took Anti-Diva Route to New Contract and it Paid Dividends

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota VikingsCredit: Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

On Monday, the Justin Jefferson saga finally came to an end. The Minnesota Vikings signed their superstar wide receiver to a deal that made him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history. But the greatest part of it may have been how he went about the entire thing.

In an offseason that saw a former Vikings wide receiver force his way out of another football town the same way he did Minneapolis, at a position often defined by diva personalities, Justin Jefferson breaks that generic mold.

In signing with the Minnesota Vikings, Justin Jefferson was able to remain with the organization that drafted him, and still collect his record-setting payday. And without relating to classic “diva” wide receiver tactics to get it done.

Justin Jefferson was the anti-diva during contract negotiations with Minnesota Vikings

Before, during and after negotiations, J.J. made it clear he’s always wanted to play for the Minnesota Vikings and that he is not the person to talk to about his contract negotiations. That is his agent’s job.

So, Jefferson focused in on football and being a superstar. He did both so well that he landed at the top of the NFL food chain. That meant, when it came time for his agent to do his job, JJ was deserving of the biggest non-quarterback contract in NFL history. And that type of negotiating process can take time.

Time means patience, which fans, media, friends and family often do not have. But no matter how loud the rumors and external chatter got over the last year, Justin Jefferson never added any theatrics into the process.

He never removed the Vikings from any of his social media accounts. Never skipped a mandatory appearance, and he definitely didn’t make the situation a war of words in the media. All we saw was a lot of that P-word. Patience.

Related: Justin Jefferson’s Message to Vikings Fans: “We Ain’t Done Yet, Just Wait.”

While rumors circulated regarding his intentions, and Minnesota’s potential willingness to trade him, it all wound up being moot. And a lot of that is thanks to how Jefferson handled it all. In hindsight, it was the ideal superstar contract negotiation for any professional sports franchise. And now that it’s done, he is the ideal leader for this team.

It wasn’t that long ago that the Minnesota Vikings were forced to trade Stefon Diggs, after a string of cryptic tweets, locker room drama and interesting run ins with media made it known he was displeased. Ultimately, it was his trade to the Buffalo Bills that gave Minnesota draft pick compensation used to take Justin Jefferson. Is that what the kids call Karma?

Instead of pulling those shenanigans, Jefferson remained focused on football and allowed his agent and the Vikings front office to do their jobs. Because of that, he is on the field at mandatory minicamp for the Vikings today.

Related: Stefon Diggs Forcing His Way Out of Buffalo is No Surprise for Minnesota Vikings Fans

Trusting the process and those hired to do his bidding got Jefferson paid. Meanwhile, Minnesota got to keep their superstar. Once the team needed him on the field for mandatory minicamp, the Vikings came up to JJ’s level and paid him what his agents had been asking from the beginning, which was for their client to be the highest paid non-QB in the NFL, a deal he had earned with his play and star power.

It remains to be seen if Cincinnati Bengals wideout Ja’Marr Chase, or Dallas Cowboys star CeeDee Lamb, will follow Jefferson’s lead. In an era where the Vikings star is not the norm, odds are against it. Then again, neither of them should be expecting a payday near the same terms either.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: