The 3 Wonderful Words from Justin Jefferson

Purple Headlines
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

Before the Super Bowl, the NFL had its annual awards. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Mr. Justin Jefferson secured the Offensive Player of the Year Award. During his speech, the WR1 uttered 3 wonderful words for Vikings fans: “more to come.”

As a rookie, Jefferson hit 1400 receiving yards, an especially notable feat given that he didn’t start the season’s opening two games. For an encore, he surpassed 100 receptions and 1600 receiving yards. Last year, he did even better: setting a franchise record with 128 catches and 1809 receiving yards. Minnesota is a franchise that has boasted Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Stefon Diggs, Jake Reed, Adam Thielen, and Ahmad Rashad. Surpassing them all is a marvellous accomplishment for the 23-year-old.

The 2022 yardage total is the 6th-most in a single season in NFL history.

As we all know by now, Justin Jefferson is an unusually special player, someone who seems committed to personal accolades as long as it also helps the team succeed. Indeed, that’s what makes him such a wonderful part of the Vikings: the gaudy personal accomplishments emphatically do not come at the expense of the team. Rather, his production is the lifeblood of Minnesota’s success.

Even still, it was quite surprising to see Kwesi Adofo-Mensah admit that he’s sharing the team’s personnel decisions and overall direction with the 23-year-old receiver (as Ben Goessling relays): “He’s a unique enough player that I think that’s probably right.” Adofo-Mensah goes on: “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.”

Almost always, a team doesn’t ask for input from the players. The rare exceptions are kept for the game’s elite QBs. The willingness desire to bring Jefferson into the decision-making fold is yet another indication that the team holds him in the highest regard.

And yet all of the accomplishments and respect haven’t seem to have diminished his passion for the sport. After accepting his OPOY Award, Jefferson made a bold promise that ought to be keeping rival defensive coordinators up at night: “more to come.”

Previously, I suggested that the new Jefferson deal man include a notable accomplishment: clearing $80 million in guaranteed money. Elite talent deserves elite money. Look for news of a Jefferson extension to arrive at some point during the offseason. Forced to guess, I’d say it occurs before training camp, but we’ll see how things play out.

In the meantime, content yourself in the fact that Justin Jefferson is looking to continue refining his game. In the process, the Vikings as a whole will benefit.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.