Vikings GM Makes Strong Statement on Trading Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah put any Justin Jefferson trade rumors to rest.

At the NFL scouting combine, Adofo-Mensah was strong in his statement that the thought of trading Jefferson “has not crossed his mind” after the team and Jefferson did not reach an extension last September.

“I promised them and will continue to promise them that I will not talk about our negotiations. I think this job should be done with integrity,” Adofo-Mensah said in a February 27 news conference. “A lot of the stuff that I hear —  it’s completely false — but I can’t get up here and tell you what’s not true and what’s not false because that’s not how I promised to do this job.

“But I will tell you we’re excited to have him and continue those conversations because he’s somebody we want around for a long time,” Adofo-Mensah added.

Vikings GM Says Justin Jefferson Deserves to Be Paid Top WR Contract

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

GettyGeneral manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings.

After coming “unbelievably close” to reaching an extension in Jefferson’s fourth offseason — the first year he was eligible for a new contract — Adofo-Mensah detailed the rarity in getting an extension before a player’s fourth season.

According to CBS Sports, only 26 first-round picks struck extensions after their third season since 2011. Quarterbacks lead the way with seven such extensions followed by offensive tackles with four. Meanwhile, only one wide receiver has seen the same treatment.

However, Jefferson is a special talent, which has led to speculation on why a deal hasn’t been done. Adofo-Mensah quelled any indication the Vikings aren’t sold on a superstar talent like Jefferson, saying Jefferson deserves to be compensated as the best wide receiver and one of the top non-quarterbacks in the league.

“We got unbelievably close. We think he’s the best wide receiver in the league and should be compensated as such. We think he’s one of the best non-quarterbacks in the league and should be compensated as such,” Adofo-Mensah said.

“They have their reasons for waiting; we have our reasons for wanting to do it sooner. Ultimately, we got to come together and meet in the middle and figure out a way to best serve our purposes.”

Vikings’ Future at QB Impacting Justin Jefferson Contract Talks

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

GettyKirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings.

While Jefferson has touted his confidence in being a productive wide receiver no matter who is throwing him the ball, the decision at quarterback this offseason could have an impact on the length of Jefferson’s extension.

If he does not see a clear path to reliable quarterback play long-term — either by extending Kirk Cousins or looking elsewhere — Jefferson may be inclined to wait on. an extension or take a short-term deal.

The Vikings have quelled any uncertainty by involving Jefferson throughout their decision-making process.

“We’ve had conversations with him. Kevin’s had a lot of good conversations with him about that. Any great wide receiver should want to have a great quarterback who’s accurate, who’s going to throw him the football when he’s open — and he gets open better than anybody in the league,” Adofo-Mensah said.

“That is important, but when I first met Justin, my first day in Minnesota, he said, ‘Kwesi, I just want to put wins on the board,’ ” Adofo-Mensah added. “At some point though there’s got to be a trust in how we’re building this going forward to set us up in a sustained window to win for a long time.

“We’ve got to earn that trust, of course. But I think that’s a conversation we have. I think you got to treat players like partners, you got to bring them in and have those conversations with them, and that’s something we’ll do with Justin.”