Justin Jefferson Trade Theories Are Already in Full Swing

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
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The Minnesota Vikings have a very important offseason in front of them.

One of the many different items on this spring’s to-do list is figuring out Justin Jefferson’s contract extension. The Vikings seemingly came close to a deal with him last offseason, but ultimately, the agreement fell through at the 11th hour.

What if the same thing were to happen this offseason, though? Would the Vikings be willing to risk having Jefferson go into the final year of his rookie contract and potentially lose him for nothing? Some have already begun discussing what a Jefferson trade could look like if an extension cannot be agreed upon.

The Recent Justin Jefferson Trade Theories

Justin Jefferson
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

One such writer who has theorized about a potential Jefferson trade is Alex Kay of Bleacher Report. Kay wrote a list of five potential blockbuster trades for this offseason, and one such trade sent Jefferson to the Arizona Cardinals.

Kay wrote, “A franchise like the Arizona Cardinals could be highly interested if Jefferson becomes available. Arizona is loaded with draft capital this year, owning 13 selections overall with six of them coming in the top 90 and two in the first round. Converting some of those picks into a player of Jefferson’s caliber would be a shrewd move for a franchise looking to contend again with a healthy Kyler Murray at the helm.”

In order to make the trade work, Kay suggested that Minnesota would receive the No. 4 and No. 71 overall picks in the 2024 NFL Draft as well as Arizona’s first-round selection in 2025 in exchange for Jefferson.

Seeing as Arizona is widely expected to be interested in top WR Marvin Harrison Jr. in the upcoming draft, this type of trade would make sense for them while giving the Vikings extra picks to rebuild for the future.

Nov 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) passes against the Houston Texans in the second half at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

It should also be noted that Kay didn’t up with this theory out of thin air. The analyst also referenced a recent piece from Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press, which also suggested that the Vikings could opt to trade Jefferson rather than pay an exorbitant amount of money.

In that article, Walters theorized that a “full-scale rebuild” could be on deck for the Vikings, which hypothetically could be inevitable if both Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter were to go elsewhere in free agency.

At the end of the day, though, even if the Vikings were to begin rebuilding, it seems smart to maintain a franchise cornerstone to build around. As of right now, that player is Jefferson.

Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a touchdown pass as Carolina Panthers cornerback D’Shawn Jamison (29) defends in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

It should also be noted that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has continuously said that he wants to keep Jefferson in a Vikings uniform for years to come.

Unless a clear and obvious reason to trade Jefferson arose, such as a request from the receiver himself, Adofo-Mensah going back on his word would likely do irreparable damage both to the Vikings fan base and the team itself. If a general manager is willing to reverse course on the best wide receiver in the league, what would that mean for any role players looking to stick around?

Ultimately, it seems very likely that a deal will get done between Minnesota and Jefferson to keep him in a purple jersey for years to come. Both sides want it to happen, and hopefully, it will happen sooner rather than later.

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.