Kevin O’Connell Remains Confident a Justin Jefferson Extension Will Get Done

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

Ever since entering the NFL in 2020, Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson has left his fingerprints all over the league. He’s set multiple records over his first three seasons, broke the 3000-yard threshold faster than anyone, and led the entire NFL in both receptions and receiving yards this past season, becoming the youngest player to do so and earning the NFL Offensive Player of the Year as a result.

Kevin O’Connell Speaks on a Justin Jefferson Extension

Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) scores a touchdown on a pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins (not pictured) against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

With the amount of success Jefferson has seen in such a short amount of time, it seems like a no-brainer that the Vikings would keep him around as long as possible, offering a lucrative contract extension.

That being said, it seemed like this extension would be one of the top priorities of the Vikings offseason. We’re now entering the middle of May, and no contract has been agreed to yet. So, when will it happen? Kevin O’Connell spoke with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk this week, and the timetable of that Jefferson extension was a main topic of discussion.

“I don’t know if I’d put a timeline on it,” O’Connell said. “I just know that, you know, we very much are looking forward to having Justin play here for a really long time. He has significantly impacted our organization in so many positive ways on and off the field.”

I look forward to when we get that done and we can move forward knowing that Justin’s going to be here for the long term and we will get that done. Justin knows, his representation knows exactly how we feel about him. We’ll work through that process here over the rest of this spring on into summer and then if we can get something done nobody will be more excited about it than me and we’ll be looking forward to seeing what Justin does in year two in this offense.”

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.

There’s a very good chance that, despite Jefferson’s comments about not liking money and only being focused on winning, his next contract will completely reset the wide receiver market to the tune of an annual value somewhere between $30-$35 million per year.

Because of this, and the Vikings needing to spread out money in other areas other than their star receiver, it makes sense that this extension would take some extra time to get done. Regardless, the tone from O’Connell as well as Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (calling the contract ‘champagne problems’ during the post-season press conference) has been the same: be patient; it will get done.

Justin Jefferson Lands First Award of 2022 Season
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) reacts after the game against the New York Jets at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson has certainly impressed over his short time in Minnesota, particularly during his first season playing in O’Connell’s offense; there is no reason to believe a contract extension isn’t soon to come. He flirted with Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving record even into December, and perhaps with a second year in the offense, that goal of being the first receiver to break 2000 yards in a season can happen for him.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of 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.