What extending Minnesota Vikings’ Justin Jefferson may appear like – Minnesota Vikings Blog

The Minnesota Vikings arrived on the NFL scouting mix on a mission, at the very least when it got here to the media portion of the occasion. Beyond discussing the hiring of defensive coordinator Brian Flores and a bunch of impending wage cap cuts, the staff’s leaders had been decided to specific how a lot they love receiver Justin Jefferson as negotiations for a contract extension loom.

“I don’t want to be the Vikings GM without this guy on our team,” basic supervisor Kwesi Adofo-Mensah mentioned.

“One of my favorite players I’ve ever coached,” coach Kevin O’Connell mentioned.

“When you have guys like that in your building,” Adofo-Mensah mentioned, “[you] try everything you can to not let them out.”

Sometimes you will see an NFL staff maintain again its true emotions a few participant in public to keep away from influencing the negotiations. If Adofo-Mensah does not need the job if Jefferson leaves, is there any value he would not comply with?

In the case of Jefferson, nonetheless, there is not any use in pretending. He earned All-Pro honors in 2022 at age 23 after main the NFL in catches (128) and receiving yards (1,809) and constructed a case to be thought of the NFL’s greatest receiver. The Vikings can be committing team-building malpractice in the event that they did not plan to do every thing possible to strike a deal.

For his half, Jefferson betrayed no hesitation about an eventual precedent-setting payday. Speaking in January, he mentioned {that a} new deal “comes with the success” and added: “It’s not really something that I’m really worried about or I have my mind set on. It’s just really performing for my team, just doing whatever I need to do to get this team to where we want to go. But the money stuff, that comes with the job.”

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The ground of negotiations is the $30 million annual worth receiver Tyreek Hill received final spring as a part of the commerce that despatched him from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Miami Dolphins. Assuming either side settle for that deal as a baseline, the harder a part of the talks can be the size. A 3-year, $95 million deal, as an example, would put Jefferson in place for a second payday at age 26, when most gamers are up for his or her first. Even a five-year, $165 million extension would give Jefferson one other crack at new cash at age 28.

The size of Jefferson’s deal would correlate with greater than his subsequent chew on the monetary apple. It would additionally join with the one concern that sources across the league say may lavatory down these negotiations: The Vikings’ plan at quarterback for the timeframe of Jefferson’s contract.

Adofo-Mensah has mentioned he expects quarterback Kirk Cousins to be the staff’s starter in 2023, however Cousins’ contract is ready to run out subsequent spring and it is not but clear if the edges will enable it to play out. Jefferson has been outspoken in his assist of Cousins over the previous three years, however he additionally understands the truth of getting a quarterback who’s approaching his thirty fifth birthday.

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First, pairing Cousins’ wage with a Jefferson contract extension would require some care when it comes to wage cap administration. The Dolphins, for instance, paid Hill to play alongside quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who on the time was two years into his rookie contract that consumed solely $8.3 million in cap area for 2022 and $9.6 million in 2023. But it’s miles from an unattainable process. This season, as an example, the Los Angeles Rams may have receiver Cooper Kupp on the books for $27.8 million in cap area whereas quarterback Matthew Stafford performs below a backloaded deal that can depend $20 million towards the cap.

Cousins is ready to depend $36.3 million towards the Vikings’ cap in 2023, however that quantity would cut back dramatically provided that he and the Vikings agree on a multiyear extension. The Vikings may backload Jefferson’s subsequent contract with massive, totally assured base salaries, however once more, that maneuver often requires a five- or six-year length to maximise its influence. And even in that case, Jefferson virtually actually would transition to a brand new quarterback over that time-frame.

All receivers know the way a lot the standard of a quarterback can have an effect on manufacturing, and thus, future earnings. So it was notable that in January, when requested if he needed to remain in Minnesota, Jefferson answered with decidedly impartial phrasing.

“I mean, I will be wherever I’m wanted,” he mentioned. “If they want me here, I’m here. That’s not something that I can really control.”

If the Vikings needed to play hardball, they may pay him his $2.4 million wage for 2023, decide up his fifth-year possibility of $19.7 million for 2024 after which use the franchise tag to retain his rights in 2025 and 2026, an method that will price about 30% lower than signing him to a multiyear extension.

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The tone of final week’s feedback makes it onerous to think about the Vikings shifting right into a confrontational negotiating stance, and in reality, Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell advised a bunch of native reporters they’ll maintain Jefferson looped in on their offseason plans. Substantive negotiations aren’t more likely to occur till after the Vikings get to the opposite facet of free company.

But at this level, the staff appears wanting to strike a deal, and Jefferson seems to just accept the truth of what is coming. There’s no purpose to cover it.