Justin Jefferson’s Holdout May Have Begun on Monday

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

In what has been an eventful offseason for the Minnesota Vikings, they still have one more massive hurdle to get over this summer.

That hurdle involves inking star wide receiver Justin Jefferson to a new contract extension in order to keep him in a purple uniform for the long-term future. Obviously, a deal hasn’t been agreed to yet, and on Monday, Jefferson’s holdout may have begun.

Justin Jefferson Not Present at Start of OTAs

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

On Monday, the Vikings began the first portion of their OTAs program for the summer, and according to reports, Jefferson was not present at the facilities.

Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted on Monday afternoon, “WR Justin Jefferson, who has been in talks with the Vikings regarding a contract extension, was not spotted at the team’s training facility today for the start of organized team activities, per team sources.”

As of now, Jefferson is slated to play on his fifth-year option of $19.743 million this season, and then, he will hit unrestricted free agency next spring unless a new contract is agreed upon, or he is placed on the franchise tag. If Jefferson were to be placed on the tag in 2025, he would be the first player that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has ever utilized it on.

Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Mullens (not pictured) as Detroit Lions cornerback Cameron Sutton (1) defends during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

With no deal in place, it is unsurprising that Jefferson is not present at OTAs, and if he were to remain without a contract throughout the summer, this absence very well could extend into training camp in July.

Danielle Hunter went through a similar process last summer, conducting a hold-in during the opening of training camp before landing a new one-year contract for the 2024 season worth $20 million. T.J. Hockenson also sat out practices with what was described as an ear infection before landing a massive contract extension.

This absence is a big deal for the Vikings as these practices should offer Jefferson the first chance to practice with new QBs Sam Darnold and J.J. McCarthy as the two battle for the QB1 position following Kirk Cousins’ departure for the Atlanta Falcons.

Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) warms up before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimately, as Schefter states, Jefferson remains in talks with the Vikings about a contract extension, and the team’s leadership has continuously expressed confidence that a deal will get done at some point. Hopefully, it happens sooner than later, and the star is back with the team.


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.

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