Justin Jefferson Makes Strong Statement on Future Ahead of Contract Talks

justin jefferson

Getty Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson.

When Justin Jefferson receives a second contract in the NFL, it’s expected to rival or exceed the megadeals that struck the league in the past offseason.

Wide receivers reset the market last spring with Davante Adams securing a five-year, $140 million contract from the Las Vegas Raiders to make him the highest-paid pass-catcher in history. Tyreek Hill quickly surpassed Adams’ deal, garnering a four-year, $120 million contract extension from the Miami Dolphins that will pay him $30 million annually.

Jefferson is sure to see a deal in that ballpark, and if the Minnesota Vikings are wise, they’ll lock down Jefferson once he’s eligible for a contract extension next offseason. He addressed his future in Minnesota approaching that window where he could become the league’s highest-paid wide receiver.

Justin Jefferson ‘Just Trying to Win the Super Bowl’

Approaching a matchup with the Dolphins, Jefferson was asked about his prospects of striking a new deal with Hill, who will be on the opposing sidelines on Sunday, resetting the market last offseason.

Hill’s new contract came by way of trade after the superstar receiver forced the Kansas City Chiefs, who drafted him, to trade him away after the Chiefs and Hill’s camp couldn’t agree on a contract extension.

Jefferson, who has shown zero semblance of a selfish player in his time in Minnesota, said he’s solely focused on winning a Super Bowl this season.

“Every single year, the market goes up, just in the salaries and the guaranteed money that is being paid, but I definitely was happy for him,” Jefferson said of Hill’s contract, per Pioneer Press reporter Chris Tomasson. “I’m happy for that type of receiver getting paid like that, but I’m just trying to win the Super Bowl at this point, and I’ll worry about the contract stuff after.”

Vikings Could Set a New Precedent for WR Contracts With Justin Jefferson

As wide receiver salaries have skyrocketed in recent years, there’s going to be a ceiling where teams are going to have to decide whether they want to pay receivers as much as quarterbacks.

But another option is to offer more guaranteed money in contracts, an initiative the Vikings took in signing Kirk Cousins to the first fully guaranteed deal in league history back in 2018.

If Jefferson, who currently leads the league with 547 receiving yards, keeps at his current pace, he should be in line for a deal exceeding Hill’s $30 million average annually.

In the offseason, Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated spoke with three agents around the league about what they expect the market to bear for Jefferson. One agent said between $28 million and $30 million per year. A second agent said $30 million to $32 million annually but added the number wasn’t likely to climb much higher.

That leads to the third agent’s prediction, that receivers may have hit their ceiling and the next step is to start offering more guaranteed earnings in receiver contracts.

“We are asking the wrong question,” the agent told Orr. “It’s not necessarily about the AAV (average annual value) when it comes to wide receivers, and it’s more about a period we may be entering when receivers, like quarterbacks, can start to inch closer to fully guaranteed contracts.”

It would be unprecedented in the NFL, which has been rigid in the shift toward offering players more guaranteed money.

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