The Vikings legend admitted in a recent interview that if Jefferson continues at his current pace, he’s merely “holding the crown” for the young receiver as the franchise’s greatest player of all time.
But that comes with the price tag of making Jefferson the league’s highest-paid wide receiver, which Carter urged the team to do as soon as possible.
Cris Carter on Vikings’ Justin Jefferson: ‘I’d Rip Up His Contract Now’
Appearing on a November 30 episode of the Locked on Vikings podcast with Ron Johnson, Carter addressed the comparisons Jefferson has received as the next Hall of Fame Vikings wide receiver.
“I thought he was going to be the best receiver in the class. We ended up drafting him. Everyone wants to compare him in such a short period of time, but… I believe that, if people consider me to be the greatest Viking, then I’m just holding the crown until he finishes his career,” Carter said.
Carter admitted that for that to happen, Jefferson needs to stay healthy and stay with the Vikings, which isn’t a guarantee in today’s NFL. Jefferson has had a clean bill of health throughout his career but has dealt with a toe injury the past two weeks that could linger the remainder of the season.
That’s not as much of a concern as it is securing Jefferson to a long-term contract extension. Jefferson is eligible to receive a new idea in the upcoming offseason and Carter has already urged Minnesota to make as soon as possible with the skyrocketing rate of superstar receivers in the league.
“I told the Vikings when we were in London that I would rip up his contract now,” Carter said. “I’d sign him now to a five-year contract. I’d give him $150 million now because it’s only going to cost them more money.”
Vikings Columnist Outlines Justin Jefferson’s Future Contract
Last offseason set off a series of moves by the league’s top wide receivers that showed teams are willing to pay a premium at the position.
Davante Adams left the Green Bay Packers, securing a five-year, $140 million contract from the Las Vegas Raiders to make him the highest-paid pass-catcher in history. Tyreek Hill quickly surpassed Adams’ deal, garnering a four-year, $120 million contract extension from the Miami Dolphins that will pay him $30 million annually.
Hill’s move paid dividends for both sides as the Dolphins have transformed their offense and Hill leading the league with 1,233 receiving yards through 11 games this season.
Jefferson is hot on Hill’s tail, posting 1,232 receiving yards this season — a mere one-yard difference with the league’s highest-paid receiver. Jefferson should overtake that title this offseason.
Pioneer Press columnist Charley Walters projected that Jefferson, 23, is expected to secure a five-year deal worth over $150 million with over $75 million guaranteed. A deal of that magnitude shows a shift in how players are seeing more guaranteed money in their contracts, which could be a strong negotiating point this offseason.
Cooper Kupp received a nearly fully guaranteed contract after he led the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns and brought the Los Angeles Rams a Super Bowl last season. His three-year, $80 million extension with $75 million guaranteed could be a model for how the Vikings may want to handle Jefferson’s deal — by getting a slight discount by offering a fully guaranteed deal.