Justin Jefferson Makes His Contract Desires Clear: “I Want to Break the Bank”

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Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

While the NFL offseason technically isn’t fully underway until after this Super Bowl weekend, there has been plenty of news around the league over the past few weeks.

Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson added to that news on Wednesday when he joined Adam Schein on Mad Dog Sports Radio of SiriusXM. Jefferson is eligible for a massive contract extension this offseason, and he made his desires for that next contract very clear.

Justin Jefferson Makes His Contract Desires Clear

Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates wide receiver K.J. Osborn’s (17) touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

“I want to break the bank, and I want to be a part of an organization that wants me, and to really give me what I deserve,” Jefferson stated during the interview.

Now, the “break the bank” portion of this isn’t exactly breaking news. Many have believed for awhile that Jefferson is one of, if not the single best receiver in the NFL at this point. Seeing as he will only turn 25 years old in June and has spent his first four NFL seasons re-writing record books, it makes a lot of sense for his next contract to be the largest at the wide receiver position in the NFL.

However, there is a newfound urgency with Jefferson that we haven’t seen in his comments to this point. Throughout the past year, he went through minicamp, training camp, and the entire 2023 regular season despite the fact that he hadn’t received a new deal, and he continuously professed that he was going to be there for his team, regardless of if the money followed or not.

Sep 12, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) runs the ball in overtime against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

To begin the 2024 offseason, though, he is understandably going in with expectations of being paid. And, of course, why shouldn’t he? He has more receiving yards than any other player through their first four NFL seasons. He won the Offensive Player of the Year award in 2022. He once again surpassed 1000 yards in 2023 despite the fact that he missed seven games and the majority of an eighth due to injury.

That hamstring injury could very well play a part in this new tactic as well. If he were to miss time again in 2024 without a new deal, it likely would impact the value he carries into free agency in 2025. Injuries are a fickle, unpredictable thing at the NFL level. Jefferson wants to sign that big contract, and now, the Vikings have to follow suit in offering it to him and rewarding him for all he has done in Minnesota. Otherwise, he may begin looking for it elsewhere.

“I feel like eventually, the Vikings will do what they need to do to have me in the building,” Jefferson stated. “But I don’t really know at this very moment, only time will tell.”

Justin Jefferson Can Break All Sorts of Records in 2023
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

For now, the expectation should be that the Vikings will offer Jefferson that contract. He is a franchise cornerstone that Minnesota can build around for years to come, and they recognize that. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah stated back in January that he and the Vikings have been in continued talks with Jefferson’s camp regarding the contract negotiations.

Later on in the interview Jefferson expressed his gratitude for the Vikings, “I definitely am grateful for what Minnesota has done for me. I definitely wouldn’t be in this situation if they didn’t pick me […] With everything that has happened, and everything I have gave to the organization, of course, I would want to stay, and that’s where I’ve been calling home ever since I got into the league.”

These comments from Jefferson should only further solidify that it is a matter of when, not if, he signs that record-breaking deal. And he is worth every single penny.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

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