Justin Jefferson Sends Vikings Loud Message With Remarks on Chase, Burrow

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings.

Justin Jefferson has been exceedingly patient over the past year, and the time has come for the Minnesota Vikings to act on his behalf in more ways than one.

The Vikings star wide receiver appeared on comedian Kevin Hart’s “Cold As Balls” show via the Laugh Out Loud (LOL) Network on Wednesday, April 10. During the interview, Hart asked Jefferson how he felt about his former LSU teammates quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase playing together as professionals with the Cincinnati Bengals.

“I love them together, I love the chemistry they have,” Jefferson said. “It’s definitely some jealousy on that side.”

Vikings Allowed Kirk Cousins to Leave in Free Agency, Leaving Void at QB for Justin Jefferson

Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

GettyWide receiver Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings.

Jefferson won a National Title with Chase and Burrow at LSU in 2019, and their unlikely reunion at the next level might be enough to cause jealousy in and of itself. That said, Jefferson’s longing for some chemistry and familiarity at the quarterback position may well have been further stoked by Minnesota’s choice to let quarterback Kirk Cousins leave for the Atlanta Falcons in free agency last month.

The wideout was an outspoken proponent of the QB in the weeks and months leading up to free agency after playing his first four NFL seasons with Cousins under center. Jefferson earned Pro Bowl honors in each of his first three years coupled with Cousins, including a first-team All-Pro selection in 2022 when he led the league in receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809).

He failed to earn accolades last year, though likely only because he missed seven games with a strained hamstring, returning after an Achilles tear sidelined Cousins for the remainder of the season. Jefferson still finished the 2023 campaign with 68 catches for 1,074 yards and 5 TDs. All told, he has amassed 392 receptions for 5,899 receiving yards and 30 TDs across 60 career games played, per Pro Football Reference.

As of Thursday, the quarterbacks on Minnesota’s roster are Sam Darnold, a bonafide bust relegated to backup duties last season with the San Francisco 49ers; Nick Mullens, a career backup who put up some numbers in 2023 when he saw the field but netted zero wins in three starts; and second-year signal-caller Jaren Hall, a fifth-round pick in 2023.

Vikings Betting Franchise’s Future, Relationship With Justin Jefferson on Drafting QB in 2024

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

GettyWide receiver Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings aren’t without a reasonable path forward, having positioned themselves to trade up into the top five of this year’s draft.

Minnesota owned the No. 11 pick before trading two second-rounders (2024, 2025) and a sixth-rounder to the Houston Texans for the rights to the No. 23 selection this year.

Packaging pick Nos. 11 and 23, along with a 2025 first-rounder, should be enough to get the Vikings somewhere into the top five. Precisely who Minnesota will land is going to depend on how high the franchise can get in the draft order, as well as which quarterbacks are drafted ahead of that spot.

Even if the Vikings can land a talent like Drake Maye of North Carolina or J.J. McCarthy of Michigan, there is no guarantee that player pans out. And even if the team’s next franchise quarterback does pan out, there is no guarantee he will be able to create the chemistry that Jefferson sees between his old college teammates in Cincinnati or the chemistry he had himself with Cousins, a four-time Pro Bowler in his own right.

There is also Jefferson’s contract to consider. The wideout has been extension-eligible since last offseason and should command a deal that will reset the market at the position.

However, Minnesota has left Jefferson waiting to ink that life-changing contract as the front office tries to align its finances to make a push toward a Super Bowl-caliber roster. While a reasonable approach in several ways, the Vikings have nonetheless opened themselves up to peril by affording Jefferson the leverage to command more money than he would have one year ago, as well as hold out until the franchise provides clear answers at the quarterback position.

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