‘Going To Get Worked Out’


  • Justin Jefferson is likely to secure a contract extension with the Vikings soon, assures head coach Kevin O’Connell.
  • Elite wide receivers like Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, and Ja’Marr Chase will reset the WR market with their contracts.
  • Jefferson’s value is indisputable, and his eventual contract extension is expected to surpass current WR records.

Minnesota Vikings fans anxiously awaiting a Justin Jefferson contract extension can rest easy. No, there’s still not a new contract, but head coach Kevin O’Connell made it plain on Up & Adams that No. 18 isn’t going anywhere:

I know everything’s going to get worked out there. Justin knows the love and admiration that I have for him, and he knows he’s such a big part of what we do around here.

The head coach’s words might ring familiar to some as they sound exactly like what he said about Kirk Cousins before he signed a $180 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons. However, the two situations have little in common. There’s even less doubt as to Jefferson’s inevitable signing, but here’s the hold-up.


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A Mexican Standoff Between Elite Wide Receivers

Jefferson, Lamb, and Chase likely to reset WR market

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson
Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

In the NFL, contracts within position groups set the market. As the salary cap continues to climb, so do player paychecks. That’s especially true at premium positions like wide receiver. Therefore, an influx of true game changers like Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, and Ja’Marr Chase can turn things into a waiting game.

Whichever of these three top-end talents signs first could end up with the smallest contract, relatively. That’s why Jared Goff now ranks as the second-highest-paid player in the league, even though we all know he’s not even a top-five QB.

Jefferson has proven to be not only the best of the three, but perhaps the most important offensive player who is not a quarterback. The Vikings’ superstar, Christian McCaffrey, and Tyreek Hill could all make decent claims at that title. Certainly, O’Connell understands his value:

Very few people are able to do the things that he’s able to do, but it’s how he goes about his business, how he works, how he pushes his teammates to get better. Justin Jefferson is a huge part of this organization.

With the 35-year-old Cousins coming off an Achilles injury and the Atlanta Falcons willing to splash the pot, it’s understandable why the Vikings couldn’t go that high to keep their QB. But with Jefferson’s age (24) and resume, there’s no way you can’t keep him unless you plan on being run out of town.

Justin Jefferson’s NFL Career



Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Yards per Reception





















Figuring out who’s actually the highest paid gets confusing thanks to the NFL’s astrophysics level of complication in their contracts. Do you measure contracts by average annual value (AAV), total guaranteed money, or a three-year average (APY)?

By Spotrac’s AAV, A.J. Brown ranks as the highest-paid non-qb on a three-year, $96 million extension, including $84 million guaranteed. As always, Philadelphia smartly got ahead of this inevitable wave of WR deals. Obviously, Jefferson will eclipse that number, as most likely will Lamb and undoubtedly Chase a year later. It just comes down to who’s willing to be the first penguin off the iceberg.

Source: Up & Adams

All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference and all contract information courtesy of Spotrac unless stated otherwise.


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