Justin Jefferson is the Key to J.J. McCarthy’s Confidence and He Knows It

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings’ wide receiver Justin Jefferson is finally secured long-term to the franchise. In a record setting contract extension that was recently announced, Jefferson is now the highest paid non-quarterback in the NFL and will remain with the Vikings’ through the 2028 season.

Throughout the entire offseason, there was some concern within the fanbase that moving on from Kirk Cousins, now with the Atlanta Falcons, would hurt front office relations with their superstar wide receiver.

From a realistic perspective, resetting your roster with a rookie quarterback probably means a step back back and Jefferson also has broken all these records with Cousins throwing him the football.

Justin Jefferson doesn’t need Kirk Cousins… duh

Sure, J.J. went to bat for Kirk Cousins before and during the offseason, but don’t confuse being a good teammate with any sort of dependency issue. Justin has talked about that before and confirmed it again on Tuesday, when he talked to reporters at mandatory minicamp about his role and excitement in raising rookie QB J.J. McCarthy.

“You know just what last year’s just with all the things that happened quarterback changes that happen that really didn’t really affect me that much it really didn’t matter who was going to be able to throw the ball I’m always confident in myself and confident who’s going to ball to give me those type of opportunities and let me just go make a play for the team.”

Justin Jefferson on his confidence in being great no matter who the Minnesota Vikings QB is

This also wouldn’t be the first time that Jefferson has hinted at possibly being open to playing for a quarterback not named Kirk Cousins. According to Alec Lewis (The Athletic), Jefferson loved catching passes from Cousins, but as he mentioned again yesterday, he knew their time together was going to come to an end long before his own football career.

Jefferson loved catching passes from Kirk Cousins, but he was always aware of (and open to) the possibility of playing with a young, newly drafted quarterback. That did not prevent some from hypothesizing that Jefferson would react rashly when Cousins signed with the Atlanta Falcons.

Alec Lewis (The Athletic)

Now, Jefferson has agreed to a long-term extension with the Minnesota Vikings, meaning he is tied to their rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy, for the foreseeable future. Jefferson noted in his media session on Tuesday that he is very aware of his role, as the front and center leader of this franchise, in raising the young rook.

How is he going to help? Confidence. He’s already been in McCarthy’s ear about how important staying confident is and that he will do his best to instill confidence in the young QB every opportunity he gets. But most importantly, whenever J.J. throws J.J. the ball.

“I’ve talked to JJ as soon as he got drafted I told him, you know, just coming into this league with confidence and being able to have that leadership just right off the bat, being a rookie. Of course, I’m gonna be that main person to be in this ear and try to teach him and try to prepare him for what we’re about to go through. But I told him this league is tough, you know, it’s not an easy job to come out here and perform at the highest ability, especially as a rookie, but I will be that main person that he can lean on and help [him] throughout the way.”

“I love his confidence and I love his attitude, and of course coming off a championship, can’t have any more confidence than that. So, that confidence is going to continue to be with him. It’s just my job to really install [more confidence] into his brain throughout the course of the season, and of course, give him that extra confidence by throwing me the ball”

Justin Jefferson on Minnesota Vikings rookie QB J.J. McCarthy

Related: Justin Jefferson’s ‘No Fluff’ Contract Details Revealed + Vikings Future Salary Cap Outlook

Vikings’ general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has done a tremendous job at getting this team younger and more financially flexible for the first time in almost a decade. The Vikings are in great hands with Adofo-Mensah, and the Jefferson to McCarthy duo is something that Vikings’ fans can be excited about for years to come.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: