Yada Yada Justin Jefferson is Good Yada Yada

Vikings Set Training Camp Schedule
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) talk during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Step aside, Elaine Benes. Do we – Vikings writers, analysts, fans, sworn enemies of all things purple, etc. – subject Justin Jefferson to the yada yada?

The Seinfeld character – one of the great TV personalities of all-time, standing alongside ’90s comedy titans such as Homer Simpson, Frasier Crane, and, indeed, George Costanza – famously used the “yada yada” technique to bypass part of a story (she did mention the bisque, though). Over the course of the episode, yada yada becomes a shorthand way of skipping across a story without filling in the specific, all-important details.

“Is yada yada bad?” George asks. Jerry praises the phrase for being “succinct.”

One wonders if there’s a certain degree of “yada yada” going on when praise gets heaped onto Justin Jefferson. Do readers’ eyes glaze over? Do people check out, day dreaming about other topics instead of continuing to read? And what about writers? Is there a tendency to cut the details short since we feel sheepish about heaping on adulation?

The State of the Vikings: Week 13
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The young receiver happens to be pretty good at football. Perhaps he has other talents, but fans of the Purple & Gold mostly love him for his capacity to get open (seemingly at will) and make plays on the ball. He had 128 catches, 1809 yards, and 8 touchdowns last season, leading to his Offensive Player of the Year Award. If you’re reading this piece, you already know all of that.

In a recent piece on PurplePTSD, Josh Frey responded to the PFF Top 25 Players Under 25. Unsurprisingly, Justin Jefferson finds himself included, coming in at 2nd overall: “Three straight seasons of elite receiving grades for Jefferson — 90.4 in 2020, 90.1 in 2021 and 90.2 in 2022 — means he stands alone at the top of the young receiver list in terms of dominance and consistency. He’s unmatched, not just for his age, but among all NFL receivers.”

Confession time: sometimes, as a Vikings writer, it can be hard to know what to say. We’ve all spent such a tremendous amount of time unpacking how significant Jefferson is because, well, he has earned it! He has been in the NFL for three seasons and has been an All Pro (either first or second team) in all three seasons. Don’t take that for granted. That’s not normal.

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

After these three seasons, Jefferson has smashed records like it’s his day job. As Dustin Baker recently wrote over at Vikings Territory, “the young wideout already owns more records than a discotheque.” Indeed.

Chances are, Jefferson is going to continue his ascent. Already someone who has forced the NFL to rethink what’s possible for a young wideout, Jefferson has shown no signs of cooling off. Sure, a team or two was able to load up on the superstar to keep him to modest production, but that strategy looks to be in peril. Adding Jordan Addison and having a full year of T.J. Hockenson threatens to really penalize the teams that commit too much to #18.

Justin Jefferson Can Make History Against Dallas
Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The safest bet, at least from our current vantage point, is that Jefferson will somehow find a way to keep getting better. His rookie yards – 1400 – swelled to 1616 as a sophomore. Last season, the total came in at 1809. See the trend? If it continues, the WR1 will be the first in NFL history to clear 2000 receiving yards in a single season.

Minnesota has nearly $42 million in cap space next season; Jefferson is scheduled to count for $19,743,000 against the cap, but an extension can shrink that number down.

Only 23, Jefferson could still have a decade of dominance left in him. Let’s hope that all occurs while playing for the Minnesota Vikings. Somehow, we’re going to need to find new ways of describing his brilliance.

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