Star WR Justin Jefferson Has a Unique “Behind the Scenes” Role with the Vikings

Star WR Justin Jefferson Has a Unique "Behind the Scenes" Role with the Vikings
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have put their full trust in star WR Justin Jefferson and his ability on the field for much of his young NFL career. However, it appears that they also have given him a unique role “behind the scenes” within the organization.

When asked about Jefferson at the NFL scouting combine on Tuesday, Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah revealed that the franchise is taking input from their star wide receiver in terms of how they go about building the roster.

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Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) warms up wearing a shirt honoring Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin (3) before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday afternoon, Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune tweeted, “One interesting note from #Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah‘s side session with beat writers at the combine: He said the team will keep Justin Jefferson in its conversations about roster-building, adding, ‘He’s a unique enough player that I think that’s probably right.'”

Goessling continued Adofo-Mensah’s quote in a following tweet which read, ““He’s aligned with Kevin and I and the Wilfs. He just wants to win. It’s the coolest thing to be around. So for certain, he’s someone we’ll keep in all our conversations. We treat everybody with respect and we understand we need their buy-in.”

Feb 9, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, US; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson poses for a photo after receiving the award for AP Offensive Player during the NFL Honors award show at Symphony Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It isn’t entirely unusual to see a star player give input on roster construction, but usually, this role is reserved for star, veteran quarterbacks such as a Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, etc. Seeing Jefferson, a 23-year-old wide receiver, in such a role continues to show just how highly the second-year GM/head coach duo of Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell view him.

This offseason is a big one for Jefferson as it opens his opportunity to sign a lucrative contract extension with the team that will keep him in a Vikings uniform for years to come. Seeing as he caught 128 passes for 1809 receiving yards (leading the NFL in both categories), it seems safe to say that he will be worth every penny of whatever contract that he gets.

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Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) looks on during warmups before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Adofo-Mensah offered more praise of Jefferson when asked about the wide receiver’s extension during his NFL scouting combine press conference as well, saying,

“I don’t want to be the Vikings GM without [Jefferson] on our team, so it’s a high priority. We’ve got to make sure that we do it in the order that we can do it in, obviously, given all our other decisions we have to make. It’s not just having an elite player…the human, it’s even better, being up close and seeing it every day. He just wants to win.”

These comments are about as high an endorsement as you’re going to find from a GM talking about a player. Fans should expect a contract to get done at some point, and hopefully, between his competitive edge on the field and his leadership skills off of it, Jefferson can help Minnesota finally land that elusive Lombardi trophy.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.