Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Facing ‘Unclear’ Contract Talks, Insider Says

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson still has another season on his contract after this one. And the Vikings still have the franchise tag – which was worth $19.7 million this season, per Spotrac – at their disposal when he hits free agency in 2025.

Still, there is some uncertainty over the one-time All-Pro’s future, and it’s due to owner preference, explains one team insider.

“It’s unclear whether the Wilfs are willing to pay Justin Jefferson the mega-deal he wants (anticipated $150 million for five years),” wrote Charley Walters of Pioneer Press on December 23. “With Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson signed, would the Vikings dare trade Jefferson for draft picks to take a quarterback?”

Jefferson is the Vikings’ single-season leader in receptions and receiving yards, per Pro Football Reference.

This is despite checking in fourth on the single-season targets list.

“Of course, I will want a contract to be done. But uh at the end of the day, it’s all up to them and what the ownership want to do with that,” Jefferson said via the team on September 7. “That’s up to them. My focus is on playing football and doing something that I’m good at. So, I’m good at being on that field and catching the football, and that’s what I continue to do.”

Jefferson missed eight weeks with a hamstring injury and had to leave another early after suffering a chest injury that warranted a precautionary trip to the hospital. He was back and on the field the following week, though. And his track record speaks for itself.

He would be a hot commodity on the trade market.

The Vikings have plenty of decisions to make this offseason before worrying about Jefferson’s future. Most notably, Kirk Cousins is a free agent this offseason. And, although there could be mutual interest in continuing the relationship, it doesn’t come without questions for both sides.

“I’m in a different situation. I mean, I’ve done something that no one has ever done in the history of the game,” Jefferson said. So my situation’s a little bit different than everyone else’s.”

“He led the league and posted career highs in receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809), becoming the youngest player in NFL history to do so. Jefferson also broke four franchise records,” wrote Sam Thiel of Vikings.com on February 10.

Were he to his the trade block, the Vikings could have myriad options for partners.

The former No. 22 overall pick was a unanimous First-Team All-Pro, a Pro Bowler for the third straight season, and earned 2022 Offensive Player of the Year, among other accolades.

“Of course, I’m going into my fourth year trying to talk about a contract two years earlier. So there’s so many different parts there that go in towards it,” Jefferson said. “That’s where I kind of leave it up to my agent and just keep my mindset on the field, and that’s what I continue to do.”


Could Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson Make Justin Jefferson Expendable?

Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings

GettyJordan Addison #3 of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings have already shown a willingness to move on from a top-tier wide receiver, particularly when they have another waiting in the wings. Jefferson made trading Stefon Diggs more palatable if not prudent in hindsight.

Addison could have the same impact, though he has not produced as Jefferson did during his inaugural campaign.

It would likely need to be a joint effort with Hockenson, who has pointed out how Jefferson’s presence opens things up for the rest of the offense.

“JJ’s obviously one of a kind,” Hockenson said via KIWA Radio on December 8. “He’s a great player and we’re just excited to have him back on the field. They’re gonna throw some stuff at us we probably haven’t seen on tape just because JJ’s out there.”

And the questions don’t stop there for the Vikings’ front office.


Danielle Hunter’s Contract Situation Adds to Vikings’ Uncertainty

Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings

GettyDanielle Hunter #99 of the Minnesota Vikings.

“Will they re-sign free agent Danielle Hunter ($65 million or so for three years?) Hunter turns 30 next season,” Walters continued. “Going forward, there are multiple intertwined to the Vikings’ puzzle for the Wilfs to try to figure out.”

The Vikings are projected to have around $35 million in cap space this coming offseason, per Spotrac. That is before making any other moves with Cousins, Hunter, and Jefferson’s extension all looming.

General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has his work cut out for him.