Kevin O'Connell not fearful about Justin Jefferson's contract state of affairs

by Christina S. Brown
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The Minnesota Vikings have their quarterback. Now, their consideration turns to creating positive J.J. McCarthy has his prime goal on the town for years to return. 

Justin Jefferson stays and not using a contract extension simply over two months into the NFL’s offseason. Nevertheless, Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell is not too involved in regards to the state of affairs.

“I do know the whole lot’s going to get labored on the market,” O’Connell stated on the “Up & Adams” present. “Justin is aware of the love and admiration that I’ve for him, and he is aware of he is such an enormous a part of what we do round right here. That is on the sector, that is off the sector, [he] brings such a fantastic vitality to our constructing each single day. And he is the ultra-competitor so far as when he steps between the white strains. Only a few persons are in a position to do the issues that he is in a position to do, however it’s how he goes about his enterprise, how he works, how he pushes his teammates to get higher. Justin Jefferson is a big a part of this group.”

Whereas O’Connell acknowledged his optimism {that a} long-term deal will get executed between the Vikings and Jefferson, the clock is slowly ticking. The star vast receiver is getting into the ultimate 12 months of his rookie contract as he is set to earn $19.743 million assured on the fifth-year choice. The 2 sides tried to get a deal executed final offseason, however contract negotiations had been placed on pause when the common season started. 

Since then, vast receivers have solely continued to earn a fairly penny in new offers. Calvin Ridley signed a four-year, $92 million deal to hitch the Tennessee Titans in free company. The Detroit Lions gave Amon-Ra St. Brown a four-year, $120 million extension in April, which included $77 million in assured cash, a document for a large receiver.

Nicely earlier than Ridley, St. Brown and different receivers earned large paydays, Jefferson expressed that he’d prefer to see a pleasant paycheck hit his checking account again in February. 

“I wish to break the financial institution, and I wish to be part of a corporation that desires me and to actually give me what I deserve,” Jefferson stated in an interview with Mad Canine Sports activities Radio then. “I really feel like finally the Vikings will do what they should do to have me within the constructing, however I do not actually know at this very second. Solely time will inform. 

“I really feel like I’ve the correct folks in my circle to barter and do what’s proper, and I really feel like this complete technique of how we deal with issues and the way we went accordingly with the season and the contract stuff, I really feel like we did a fantastic job with it.”

It is affordable to assume that Jefferson’s subsequent contract might be bigger than what St. Brown and the opposite highest-paid receivers are incomes. Jefferson, who solely turns 25 in June, has been one of many league’s elite receivers since he entered the league in 2020, recording 128 receptions for 1,809 yards and eight touchdowns in 2022 to win Offensive Participant of the Yr. He additionally had 68 receptions for 1,074 yards and 5 touchdowns in simply 10 video games final season, lacking time on account of a hamstring harm.

Take the Packers, Vikings over 9.5 and 6.5 wins, Cowboys beneath 10.5 wins

Jefferson’s dominance early in his profession could possibly be why it nonetheless would possibly take a while for the Vikings to look him up long-term. Different notable receivers, resembling Ja’Marr Chase and CeeDee Lamb, are additionally in search of extensions this offseason. The Vikings may wait till the opposite prime receivers signal offers earlier than they comply with an extension to make sure that Jefferson is the highest-paid receiver within the recreation, much like what the Cincinnati Bengals did final season with Joe Burrow.

It’s evident although that the Vikings worth Jefferson. They stated they had been protecting him within the loop on their quarterback state of affairs after dropping Kirk Cousins in free company. Jefferson additionally reciprocated that notion, with McCarthy sharing that the star wideout reached out to him shortly after he was drafted

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