Ignore Minnesota Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson at your own peril and see how long it takes before you regret it. The most likely answer — probably just one play.
That’s a mistake Green Bay Packers star wide receiver Davante Adams is never going to make. Adams, a talker who backs up his rhetoric with even louder play, isn’t much for mincing words — particularly when it comes to his NFL contemporaries. He called out Odell Beckham Jr. in November after Beckham chose to sign with the Los Angeles Rams instead of joining up with Adams in Green Bay.
The Pack’s leading pass catcher stayed true to form on Wednesday, December 8, when he took to Twitter to share his unsolicited thoughts on Jefferson, a rival wideout in the NFC North Division. What he had to say, however, might surprise those who aren’t familiar with the details of the relationship.
It wasn’t the first time Adams has been impressed enough with Jefferson that he felt the need to say it publicly.
“I see a six-year vet when I watch him play,” Adams told the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Ryan Wood a few days ahead of the teams’ first game this season on Sunday, November 21. “Last year, he looked like he was already in his fourth season.”
“He’s kind of aging like a dog right now in its purest form, because he’s a dog out there,” Adams continued.
The two wideouts have built a relationship since training together in the offseason and the respect between them is mutual, to say the least.
“The best train with the best,” Jefferson said during an episode of the Pat McAfee Show back in January. “Of course, I want to train with the top guys of the league. I’ve talked to Davante Adams, talked to Stefon Diggs, Odell (Beckham Jr). Talking to those different guys, I definitely want to train with them and see all the information they can give to me to help my game out.”
Adams, Jefferson Took Different Paths to the Top of the NFL
One of the leading wideouts in the NFL, Adams didn’t start his career out that way. He worked his way up the ranks of receivers for years, making his first Pro-Bowl after his fourth season teamed up alongside MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Adams has gone on to make four consecutive Pro-Bowl appearances since then and was named a first-team All-Pro in 2020 when he led the league with 18 TD receptions. Over the course of 11 games played this year, he has already caught 80 passes for 1,083 yards and 5 TDs, per Pro Football Reference.
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Jefferson’s rise, on the other hand, has been considerably more meteoric. The Vikings’ top wide receiver was drafted in 2020 to replace Stefon Diggs, who departed for the Buffalo Bills that offseason. Jefferson took the NFL by storm and was named to the Pro-Bowl as a rookie. Through 13 games this year, including the Vikings’ Thursday Night Football victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jefferson has caught 85 passes for 1,288 yards and 8 TDs.
Jefferson Most Productive Wideout in NFL Since Going Pro
Based on their statistical outputs, both Jefferson and Adams are on their way back to the Pro-Bowl in 2021. In fact, their sustained greatness and consistency has made them No. 1 and No. 2 in receiving production since the start of last season.
NFL on CBS tweeted out the numbers on Monday, December 13.
Since 2020 began, Jefferson has amassed 2,609 yards receiving. That figure was tabulated before he took the field Thursday night against the Steelers. Jefferson caught 7 balls for 79 yards and found the end zone once in that game, upping his total to 2,688 yards.
Adams is following Jefferson close behind with 2,457 yards in two fewer games over the same time span. Third on the list is the aforementioned Diggs (2,382 yards). Following in fourth place is wide receiver Cooper Kupp (2,340 yards), of the Rams. Rounding out the top five is tight end Travis Kelce (2,264 yards), of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jefferson has a slight edge over Adams in head-to-head matchups as well. The Vikings split with the Packers last season, each team winning on the other’s home field. Minnesota scored a win in the first showdown of 2020 by a field goal in Minneapolis last month. The two teams will meet again in Week 17 at Lambeau Field.