Justin Jefferson Wants to Win… and Make a Reported $33M/YR ($80M Guaranteed)

Justin Jefferson
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since 2017, the Minnesota Vikings will start a season with someone not named Kirk Cousins at the quarterback position. While that does bring an air of uncertainty surrounding the team, it also adds an element of excitement that the Vikings have a shot of finding their quarterback of the future in the draft in late April.

On top of that, there are looming questions surrounding why a Justin Jefferson extension hasn’t come yet. Is it possible that, with the future at QB still very much up in the air, that JJ is waiting to see who the Vikings choose to throw him the ball before he dives all in on a brand new record breaking deal?

While the Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson was one of the best in the league during their tenure, JJ has proven that it doesn’t matter who is throwing him the ball, he will still get his. In 5 games last season without Cousins, Jefferson went for 503 yards and 2 touchdowns on 32 catches with a combination of Josh Dobbs, Nick Mullens, and Jaren Hall as his QB.

Justin Jefferson doesn’t need Kirk Cousins to be great

Justin Jefferson
Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson has proven to be a blue chip player, no matter who his quarterback is. Both he and the Vikings have made it clear that there is mutual interest in him staying in Minnesota, with GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah going as far as to say that the two parties were “right there” on a deal before the start of last season.

While Jefferson and Cousins did have a great relationship as teammates, he understands that football is a business, and according to Alec Lewis at The Athletic, as long as the Vikings are committed to being competitive and he is prioritized as a top option in the offense (which will always be the case under Head Coach Kevin O’Connell) that he will be willing to accept the changes as they come without complaints or any sort of uproar from his side.

As long as the Vikings are focused on winning and quarterbacks are prioritizing him as an option (which will always be the case with O’Connell as the head coach), he’ll navigate change honorably and without causing friction.

Alec Lewis – The Athletic

With that being said, Justin is also looking to become the highest paid receiver in the league and one of the highest paid non-quarterbacks in the league. On top of that, the 24-year-old LSU alum wants to win consistently and contend for Super Bowls, which the Vikings hope they are setting themselves up to do.

Related: Vikings Probably Won’t Be Compensated for Falcons + Kirk Cousins Tampering… but Rules Say They Could

Oh, and Alec casually sneaks in a VERY specific contract number that he believes JJ is looking for ($33M/YR, including $80M total guaranteed), which comes off sounding much more like a report than a prediction.

Jefferson wants to be the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver and one of the highest-paid non-quarterbacks. He also wants to be in a position to win consistently. Offer those two things (at somewhere around $33 million a year with upwards of $80 million guaranteed), and he’ll wear purple for years to come.

Alec Lewis – The Athletic

The Vikings have given themselves options going into the NFL Draft, which will take place on April 25th through the 27th. Minnesota currently owns two first round draft picks, after acquiring the 23rd overall pick in a trade with Houston to pair with their 11th pick. Most believe they now have the ammo to move up into the top 5, to get a top QB like North Carolina’s Drake Maye or Michigan’s JJ McCarthy, both of which the Vikings have shown interest in.

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The signing of Sam Darnold to a 1 year, 10 million dollar deal proves the Vikings believe they can still be competitive with an experienced signal caller surrounded by one of the better supporting casts in the league, while also still leaving the option of finding their guy in the draft. As long as the Vikings prove they plan to be competitive in 2024, Justin Jefferson will be in Minnesota for years to come.

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