Justin Jefferson Trade Steam Increasing Alongside NFL Salary Cap is No Coincidence

justin jefferson
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, it was announced that the NFL salary cap would increase by an unprecedented $30+ million for the 2024-25 season, an increase that is sure to affect contract negotiations being had this offseason between teams and their top players… like Justin Jefferson.

There were Vikings reporters who, at the time, tried telling fans the increased salary cap wouldn’t really matter to some of the talks happening around the league, but that never really made sense. Agents wouldn’t be doing their jobs properly if they weren’t asking for more money, especially guaranteed money, based strictly on % of the cap, following the change.

If I’m an agent, and Team A was willing to offer X% of the salary cap to my client before the increase, I’d certainly be arguing that there is no reason they shouldn’t offer X% of the salary cap after. And it’s a fair point. It may not win the argument outright, but it’s a worthy part of the conversation.

Justin Jefferson trade more likely after salary cap increase?

That means, if Justin Jefferson’s agency is doing its job properly, it was demanding different numbers for JJ this week than it was two weeks ago, or whenever it first caught wind of the $30 million salary cap increase.

Justin Jefferson
Photo: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

In Sunday’s Pioneer Press, local insider Charley Walters wrote the same thing. He says that steam continues to boil over behind the scenes that the Vikings “could make Justin Jefferson available for trade” and he seems to think that’s because the cap increase has made JJ more expensive.

Related: ESPN Get Up Boldly Predicts Vikings Will Trade Justin Jefferson and Let Kirk Cousins Walk

Steam continues that the Vikings could make Justin Jefferson available for trade. The NFL’s salary cap increase of $31 million per team could push an extension for Jefferson to more than the initially projected $150 million over five years.

Charley Walters – Pioneer Press

In other words, there’s a reason why the Justin Jefferson trade steam has increased in the last week or two. As mentioned above, he probably asked for more money when the salary cap went up and the Vikings told him ‘absolutely not’.

At this point, I’m starting to wonder how much of the Justin Jefferson decision is based off of what happens with Kirk Cousins. If Cousins is re-signed, I’d imagine Justin’s new deal follows shortly after.

Related: Vikings Plant Seed with Patriots Over Possible Trade for No. 3 Overall Pick

But if Cousins is not signed, I’m no longer convinced Justin Jefferson will be a part of the Minnesota Vikings rebuild that takes place following Kirk’s departure. It shocks me to even type those words but, usually, where there is trade steam, there is fire.

And don’t give me the ‘Charley Walters doesn’t know what he is talking about’ line. Even if you believe that, which I do not, it’s important to note that Charley isn’t the only one who has speculated about a JJ trade based on chatter being heard behind the scenes and around the league lately.

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