Mike Florio Accuses Vikings Beat Writers of Burying Justin Jefferson Trade Rumors

Mike Florio, Minnesota Vikings beat reporters
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings signed Justin Jefferson to a massive contract extension that, for now, stands as the greatest contract ever to be signed by an NFL player who isn’t a quarterback.

But prior to that extension, there were a few reports floating around that pushed a possible trade, if the Vikings were blown away by a crazy offer. Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) and Charley Walters (Pioneer Press) led the charge on those Jefferson trade rumors.

Florio first reported on draft night that Minnesota tried trading up to No. 5 in the first round for LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers, which Walters reported weeks later would have led to a trade of Justin Jefferson.

Eventually, ESPN reported that the Vikings never discussed trading Justin Jefferson. Then this week, head coach Kevin O’Connell mimicked the same thing, that it was never discussed internally. That lead to many local media members and plenty of fans around the Twin Cities firing strays (and some shooting straight shots) at Florio over his previous trade reports.

Mike Florio calls out Minnesota Vikings beat writers

Well on Thursday evening, Florio fired back in very ProFootballTalk fashion, calling out local media members in the Twin Cities for essentially burying the Justin Jefferson trade steam, in order to protect their own relationships within the organization and within Jefferson’s camp. That’s why, Mike claims, those beat reporters are “parroting the ‘nothing to see here’ mantra” that the Vikings are putting out.

Beat writers have plenty of reasons, driven both by access and a desire not to come off as having been scooped, to parrot the “nothing to see here” mantra.

Some would say beat writers know a given team better than anyone else. While that might be true in many circumstances, there’s a real difference between what beat writers can and will write and what they know but can’t say.

Mike Florio – ProFootballTalk

Mike says it is a FACT that Justin Jefferson’s camp was sending out signals of frustration when the Vikings were dragging their feet during negotiations. Everyone knew what it would take to get a deal done,s o what took so long for Minnesota to make that offer? According to Florio, Jefferson’s camp was wondering the same thing.

Here’s a fact to which we previously alluded on PFT Live and that I reported unequivocally on Thursday morning’s show. At one point before the draft, Jefferson’s camp believed the Vikings were “playing games” with their most important player.

Mike Florio – ProFootballTalk

Related: Are Vikings Intentionally Hiding J.J. McCarthy from Fans and Media?

Both reporters doubled and Florio has even tripled down, saying there is a reason reporters didn’t ask KOC specifically about trying to trade up for Nabers. Here again, Mike uses the word “fact” to describe the situation.

“Then there’s the fact that more than a few people have said the Vikings were trying to trade up from No. 11 to No. 5 to draft LSU receiver Malik Nabors. Too many people heard that for it to have been something that someone pulled out of thin air and/or their ass. Even though Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell got the predictable softball earlier this week regarding the question of whether the Vikings shopped Jefferson, no one asked about the Nabors rumors and reports.

Mike Florio – ProFootballTalk
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