Kevin O’Connell Looks to Give Vikings Rumor a Knockout Punch

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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

The Vikings are going to trade Justin Jefferson if an extension doesn’t get done soon. Or, at least, that was the theory among some leading up to the news of the extension.

Jefferson isn’t going anywhere.

In fact, Kevin O’Connell was sure to clarify that point once again in a press conference last week. “When you hear some things,” O’Connell explains, “a lot of things kind of come and go, and you chalk it up to what they are. But when there’s things that are just so far outside the realm of what’s actually happening and taking place, you find yourself wanting to come out and say, which I will, unequivocally, we never, ever one time discussed internally amongst the leadership [trading Jefferson].”

Kevin O’Connell Looks to Give Jefferson Rumor Knockout Punch

Sounds like the knockout punch, doesn’t it?

Listen to Kevin O’Connell and how he handles the situation. Minnesota’s head coach certainly makes it seem as though there was no legitimate consideration given to the possibility of trying to trade Mr. Jefferson.

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Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell (left) and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah react during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

O’Connell goes on to refute the trade notion even further.

“Some people have sources far and wide, but I would say amongst the leadership, amongst the decision makers, the people that are directly involved with the situation, there really was not one time that [a trade] was ever discussed, game planned, contingency planned,” O’Connell explains.

The coach then went on to describe the “excitement” about Jefferson being back while bringing things back to “process.”

Oct 8, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

To be sure, there have been other moments when Minnesota’s main leaders said a deal was going to get done. Everyone from owner Mark Wilf, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, and, indeed, head coach Kevin O’Connell said an extension would get done.

Heck, even Jefferson confirmed he wanted to be back with the Vikings.

The critical difference with the quote from O’Connell is that it’s coming after an extension. Words carry a lot more weight when there is real action and real dollars behind them.

Per the team’s HC, the actual leaders and people with the power to make decisions never ventured into possibly trading Jefferson. And while there are times when people in the NFL stretch the truth or omit portions of the truth, O’Connell’s words come across as genuine.


K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.