Justin Jefferson Has Eyes on Super Bowl, Not Money

Reaction to Vikings Win over Bears in Week 5
Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

This weekend, the Minnesota Vikings go up against one of the top paid receivers in the league, Tyreek Hill. This offseason, Hill was traded to the Dolphins from the Kansas City Chiefs and signed an extension that sees him getting paid $120 million from 2023-26.

Of course, one of the main topics of the 2023 NFL offseason will be Justin Jefferson’s next contract. Currently, Jefferson is set hit free agency following the 2023 NFL season, but in all likelihood, the young star will receive a lucrative extension from the Vikings to remain in Purple and Gold.

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press asked Jefferson about Hill’s contract and his upcoming negotiations, and Jefferson gave an answer that should be music to all Vikings fans’ ears:

“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.”

Last year, Jefferson became the first receiver to record at least 3000 receiving yards in a player’s first two NFL seasons. He recorded a league-high 3016 receiving yards between 2020 and 2021, and he has continued that torrential start this season, leading the league with 547 yards through the first five weeks. The closest receiver to Jefferson in yards is Cooper Kupp at 527, and then Hill comes in right behind Kupp at 524.

Jefferson stated prior to the season that his goal is to be recognized as the best wide receiver in the NFL by the end of the 2022 season, and he wanted to break 2000 yards. So far, he’s a tad off pace for that 2000 receiving mark, but he’s well on his way towards being the best receiver in the league.

In order to get paid like the best receiver in the league, Jefferson would have to command a contract larger than the 4-year/$120 million deal given to Hill and the 5-year/$140 million contract owned by Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders.

To this point, the Vikings have an estimated cap space of $6,542,524 in 2023, assuming the salary cap jumps to $225 million, per Over the Cap. Put simply, the Vikings need to move boatloads of money around in order to offer an extension of this magnitude.

It’s certainly possible, but the extension could come with some serious consequences regarding the rest of the roster. It brings some comfort to see Jefferson putting his focus on the field rather than the money. Only time will tell what type of numbers Jefferson demands come spring.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.