Ex-Teammate Ja’Marr Chase Reacts to Justin Jefferson’s $140 Million ‘Favor’

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson raised the bar.

His four-year, $140 million contract extension – with $110 million in guarantees – is the highest among wide receivers. It is also the richest deal among non-quarterbacks in NFL history, a benchmark Jefferson has been expected to set with the historic start to his career.

Former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase – with whom Jefferson won a national championship in 2019 – sent a message to Jefferson on finally getting a resolution in what was a lingering issue.

“@jjettas2 BREAK DA BANK!” Chase posted on Instagram on June 3. “Congrats dawgy.”

Chase also liked a post from LSU football’s social media team which said Jefferson was, “Destined For Breaking Records.” Jefferson said he wanted to “break the bank” during an interview held on Super Bowl week.

The Cincinnati Bengals star, Chase, has good reason to appreciate Jefferson’s deal with his own coming due.

“This contract allows for Jefferson to do another big deal before his 30th birthday—and maybe well before it—which means he’ll maximize his earning potential as an NFL player,” Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wrote on June 3. “A side benefit: He sure did his former teammate Ja’Marr Chase a favor, too.”

Breer noted that the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins were smart to beat the Vikings to the punch in extending their top wideouts.

Justin Jefferson Sets High Bar for Fellow WRs

Tyreek Hill, Minnesota Vikings

GettyTyreek Hill #10 of the Miami Dolphins.

“A record deal: the Vikings and three-time Pro-Bowl WR Justin Jefferson reached agreement on a four-year, $140 million contract extension that includes $110 million guaranteed and makes him not only the highest-paid WR in NFL history, but the highest-paid non-QB in NFL history, sources tell ESPN,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter posted on X on June 3. “Jefferson’s deal includes $88.743 million due at signing, the highest non-QB guarantee at signing in NFL history. And it resets the WR market. WME Football negotiated and confirmed the deal.”

Schefter followed up with a list of eight players who have inked contracts this offseason, including Jefferson. He also noted five more players who could soon follow with new contracts of their own this offseason.

Among them was Dallas Cowboys star CeeDee Lamb – whom ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported was likely fine waiting to see what Jefferson’s talks yielded while awaiting his payday.

“It’s CeeDee Lamb,” Fowler said on “SportsCenter” on May 26. “He’s the guy. He’s considered a top receiver just like Jefferson. Dallas Cowboys want to pay him at some point. But they know he is probably waiting for Jefferson to sort of reset that market. Then Lamb can come in somewhere landing his plane either behind Jefferson or somewhere close to him.”

Another player on that list, Tyreek Hill just watched teammate, Jaylen Waddle, get new money.

Breer noted that the latter’s deal “reflects” other teams being wise for getting deals done ahead of time. The former Kansas City Chiefs star and Super Bowl champion also sent a message to Jefferson on his new contract.

“JJettas that’s well deserved,” Hill posted on X, earning a share from the Vikings social media team.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio noted the impact Jeffrson’s deal could have on Chase and Hill.

Details of Justin Jefferson’s Contract With Vikings Emerge

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

GettyJustin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings.

Fowler noted in his report that guarantees in the final year were part of the holdup in the situation. Jefferson will receive upwards of $50 million in guaranteed salary over the first two years of the deal, per Over The Cap.

More than $89 million total is guaranteed at signing. According to OTC’s breakdown, there is no guaranteed salary in the final season (2028).

However, Jefferson has a $33.2 million base salary with a $47-plus million cap hit.

The Vikings will likely be more than motivated to do something to reduce that number, especially when rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy’s next deal could be due by then. The extension reduced Jefferson’s 2024 cap hit from $19 million on a fifth-year option to $8.6 million.

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