Rival Star ‘Waiting’ for Vikings’ Justin Jefferson Amid Contract ‘Issue’

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson is poised to land the largest contract in NFL history for a non-quarterback.

Getting there is proving problematic, though it may not be for lack of willingness from either side at the negotiating table. Jefferson is coming off his fourth straight 1,000-yard campaign and did so with inconsistent quarterback play.

The three-time Pro Bowl wideout skipped the first session of voluntary workouts last week.

While that garnered attention, it was not out of the norm for Jefferson. He is expected to land the contract he seeks.

And when he does, he could have a domino effect impacting at least one NFC rival team, the Dallas Cowboys. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that star wideout CeeDee Lamb could be keeping the main one watching how Jefferson’s talks play out.

“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.”

Fowler offered similar reporting in later editions of the show.

He also reiterated that the Cowboys could make Lamb wait for quarterback Dak Prescott before they begin negotiations with his side. But Jefferson’s deal could set the tone.

Final Year Guarantees ‘Part of Issue’ in Justin Jefferson Contract Talks With Vikings

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

GettyJustin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings.

Like Jefferson, Lamb is not subject to fines until the beginning of mandatory minicamp, which runs June 4-6, just as it does for the Vikings. Fowler also went into greater detail on Jefferson and what may be holding up the negotiations with the Vikings.

It is more of a structure issue than the final number, it seems.

“I’ve talked to multiple teams … who believe that  Justin Jefferson might just become the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL. So that means he would be surpassing Nick Bosa’s $34 million per year. We’ll see if he can get there, now. That’s a huge number. At the very least, the expectation is that he will surpass that $30 million per year threshold and become the highest-paid wide receiver whenever that does go down,” Fowler said on a later show.

“Part of the issue is a lot of these receiver deals, they’re big on paper. But that last year is bloated and they’re non-guaranteed. He wants a strong guarantee structure and those good, solid numbers. We’ll see if they can get there. That’s why it’s taking time.”

Justin Jefferson Wants to ‘Break the Bank’

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

GettyJustin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings.

Jefferson has not been shy about his expectations of his new deal, though he stopped short of putting a specific number on it.

He has also expressed confidence that the Vikings would meet those expectations.

“I want to break the bank, and I want to be a part of an organization that wants me and to really give me what I deserve,” Jefferson said on “Mad Dog Sports Radio” on February 7. “I feel like eventually the Vikings will do what they need to do to have me in the building,” but I don’t really know at this very moment. Only time will tell.”