The Minnesota Vikings just secured their most valuable pick of the 2020 NFL Draft class on Wednesday.
Twenty-one-year old Justin Jefferson, drafted No. 22 overall, agreed to a four-year, $13.1 million deal, which is fully guaranteed and includes a $7.1 million signing bonus. Jefferson is the second Vikings rookie to sign his contract, following Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley who agreed to the terms of his deal earlier this month.
Jefferson is expected to fill the No. 2 receiver job behind Adam Thielen after he played a crucial role in the national champion LSU Tigers offense in 2019. Jefferson led the NCAA led in catches (111) and contested-catch percentage (92.3) last season. He replaces Stefon Diggs in the Vikings offense after Diggs was traded to the Buffalo Bills for several draft picks, including the pick used to draft Jefferson.
His contract agreement, like many rookies, had been delayed due to players’ inability to get a team physical. Vikings rookies are expected to report to training camp on Thursday as several other rookies have begun to enter the finalization of their contracts.
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Four Other Rookies Inked Deals With Vikings
The Vikings got plenty of paperwork out of the way by securing several other rookies this week.
Troy Dye, a fourth-round linebacker who played at Oregon last fall before he was picked 132nd overall, agreed to a contract expected to have roughly a $650,000 in signing bonus on a four-year, $4 million deal, per the Star Tribune.
K.J. Osborn, a fifth-round wide receiver out of Miami, was drafted to make an immediate impact in the Vikings return game. He tweeted a photo of him signing his contract via Twitter. He agreed to a four-year, $3.6 million contract on Tuesday, per Michigan Live.
— KJ Osborn (@KJ_Osborn) July 22, 2020
Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reported that the Vikings rookie offensive linemen Ezra Cleveland, Kyle Hinton and Blake Brandel are on track to sign new deals along with defensive linemen James Lynch and D.J. Wonnum who have both agreed to their contract terms as well.
Cleveland, drafted 58th overall out of Boise State in the second round, agreed to a four-year $5.5 million contract with $3 million guaranteed. His signing bonus is $1.5 million. Hinton, a seventh-round pick out of Division II Washburn University, has agreed to a four-year, $3.3 million salary with a $75,492 signing bonus. Brandel played for Oregon State and was drafted in the sixth round at No. 203 overall. He agreed to a $3.46 million deal which includes a $164,976 signing bonus.
Lynch, a fourth-round pick from Baylor who was picked 130th overall and agreed to a four-year, $3.9 million deal and a $690,992 signing bonus. Wonnum, a fourth-round defensive end who played for South Carolina, agreed to a $4 million deal and a $750,780 signing bonus.
The Vikings are still waiting for players to sign their contracts when they arrive to training camp but have made headway to begin camp with their 15-man draft class.
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Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.