The Justin Jefferson contract situation

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J. Kapp 11
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The Justin Jefferson contract situation

Post by J. Kapp 11 »

So ... no deal done. As reported by several outlets, negotiations have been postponed until the offseason.

It makes me wonder what in the heck the Vikings are doing. I'll start with some points.

1. Justin Jefferson is the best WR in the game. He's the best WR probably in the past 10 years.
2. As such, he deserves to be paid. Tyreek Hill got an AAV of $30 million a year. JJ deserves more. He's earned it, and he's likely to keep earning it.
3. As Mike Florio pointed out on Pro Football Talk, the Vikings have a history of trading superstar WRs in the prime of their careers — Moss, Harvin and Diggs.

Is it possible the Vikings are actually thinking about trading Justin Jefferson?

At first blush, it's easy to say, "No way. You don't trade a generational talent."

Really? We traded Randy Moss for a first-rounder (Troy Williamson) and a freaking linebacker. Randy Moss may be the best WR the game has ever seen.

It begs the question: Why would you trade Justin Jefferson?

The answer: Kirk David Cousins.

Cousins is 35. He's in the last year of his contract. He's likely gone after this year. At that point, what do the Vikings do for a quarterback? Yes, they stunk it up on Sunday against the Bucs, but they're talented enough to win, say, 8 games. That puts them anywhere from 11th to 14th in draft order — not high enough to get Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, and likely not enough draft capital to trade up without heavily mortgaging future drafts.

Enter Jefferson.

Let's say the Colts, who believe they have their franchise quarterback in Anthony Richardson, finish with the worst record in the league. They don't need a QB, so might they be open to offers for the No. 1 pick? Let's say KAM picks up the phone and calls Christopher Ballard: "Chris. Kwesi. We'll give you JJ and the 12th pick for the No. 1 and a third. Best WR in the league to go with AR. Whadya say, buddy? Deal?"

I AM NOT SAYING THIS IS WHAT I WANT. I AM ALSO NOT PREDICTING IT WILL HAPPEN.

But again, why are the Vikings fooling around with this? It makes no sense. If they really want to keep JJ, they'd get a deal done. Do they honestly think his asking price is going to go DOWN after this season? Kid is playing his a$$ off, despite not having a deal, despite being paid a ridiculous $2.4 million this year.

It makes me wonder if the Vikings aren't angling for their next franchise QB, and if they're using their most valuable commodity to do it. After all, Kwesi is a stock trader. I wouldn't put this past him. And guys, Caleb Williams is an absolute STUD.

(Just a reminder. You may think I'm crazy, but you — meaning the majority of people on the board who commented — also said I was crazy when I predicted they'd release Adrian Peterson, and you said I was crazy when I predicted they'd get rid of Stefon Diggs.)

I'll leave you with Mike Florio's speculation on PFT. Interested in your thoughts. Peace out.
He has earned a contract that would pay him much more than the slotted $2.4 million he’s due to make this year. Frankly, it’s an embarrassment that he’s only getting $2.4 million for 2023, given what he has done — and given what he likely will do again.

At some point, Jefferson (who currently seems to be very good natured and willing to go along with the situation) might change his mind and ask to be traded to a team that will pay him what he’s worth. It happened with three great receivers in 2022: Devante Adams, Tyreek Hill, and A.J. Brown. It could happen with Jefferson in 2024.

The Vikings clearly aren’t sweating that possibility. As I’ve said before, the failure to extend Jefferson could be the first step in a scenario that entails trading him to a team holding a draft pick high enough to deliver a franchise quarterback for the Vikings.

Yes, Jefferson is great. So was Moss, Harvin, and Diggs. And the Vikings got to a grand total of no Super Bowls with those other players on the team.

A franchise quarterback means more to an NFL organization than a stellar receiver. And if rookie receiver Jordan Addison turns out to be a great receiver, too, the Vikings can keep him and trade Jefferson in a way that positions them to get the true, year-in-and-year-out franchise quarterback they haven’t had since they traded with the Giants to bring Fran Tarkenton back to Minnesota in the 1970s.

That could be the plan. If it isn’t, it could become the reality — if/when Jefferson decides he’s had enough of his skills and abilities not being properly recognized and compensated.
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

Post by allday1991 »

J. Kapp 11 wrote: Wed Sep 13, 2023 3:07 pm So ... no deal done. As reported by several outlets, negotiations have been postponed until the offseason.

It makes me wonder what in the heck the Vikings are doing. I'll start with some points.

1. Justin Jefferson is the best WR in the game. He's the best WR probably in the past 10 years.
2. As such, he deserves to be paid. Tyreek Hill got an AAV of $30 million a year. JJ deserves more. He's earned it, and he's likely to keep earning it.
3. As Mike Florio pointed out on Pro Football Talk, the Vikings have a history of trading superstar WRs in the prime of their careers — Moss, Harvin and Diggs.

Is it possible the Vikings are actually thinking about trading Justin Jefferson?

At first blush, it's easy to say, "No way. You don't trade a generational talent."

Really? We traded Randy Moss for a first-rounder (Troy Williamson) and a freaking linebacker. Randy Moss may be the best WR the game has ever seen.

It begs the question: Why would you trade Justin Jefferson?

The answer: Kirk David Cousins.

Cousins is 35. He's in the last year of his contract. He's likely gone after this year. At that point, what do the Vikings do for a quarterback? Yes, they stunk it up on Sunday against the Bucs, but they're talented enough to win, say, 8 games. That puts them anywhere from 11th to 14th in draft order — not high enough to get Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, and likely not enough draft capital to trade up without heavily mortgaging future drafts.

Enter Jefferson.

Let's say the Colts, who believe they have their franchise quarterback in Anthony Richardson, finish with the worst record in the league. They don't need a QB, so might they be open to offers for the No. 1 pick? Let's say KAM picks up the phone and calls Christopher Ballard: "Chris. Kwesi. We'll give you JJ and the 12th pick for the No. 1 and a third. Best WR in the league to go with AR. Whadya say, buddy? Deal?"

I AM NOT SAYING THIS IS WHAT I WANT. I AM ALSO NOT PREDICTING IT WILL HAPPEN.

But again, why are the Vikings fooling around with this? It makes no sense. If they really want to keep JJ, they'd get a deal done. Do they honestly think his asking price is going to go DOWN after this season? Kid is playing his a$$ off, despite not having a deal, despite being paid a ridiculous $2.4 million this year.

It makes me wonder if the Vikings aren't angling for their next franchise QB, and if they're using their most valuable commodity to do it. After all, Kwesi is a stock trader. I wouldn't put this past him. And guys, Caleb Williams is an absolute STUD.

(Just a reminder. You may think I'm crazy, but you — meaning the majority of people on the board who commented — also said I was crazy when I predicted they'd release Adrian Peterson, and you said I was crazy when I predicted they'd get rid of Stefon Diggs.)

I'll leave you with Mike Florio's speculation on PFT. Interested in your thoughts. Peace out.
He has earned a contract that would pay him much more than the slotted $2.4 million he’s due to make this year. Frankly, it’s an embarrassment that he’s only getting $2.4 million for 2023, given what he has done — and given what he likely will do again.

At some point, Jefferson (who currently seems to be very good natured and willing to go along with the situation) might change his mind and ask to be traded to a team that will pay him what he’s worth. It happened with three great receivers in 2022: Devante Adams, Tyreek Hill, and A.J. Brown. It could happen with Jefferson in 2024.

The Vikings clearly aren’t sweating that possibility. As I’ve said before, the failure to extend Jefferson could be the first step in a scenario that entails trading him to a team holding a draft pick high enough to deliver a franchise quarterback for the Vikings.

Yes, Jefferson is great. So was Moss, Harvin, and Diggs. And the Vikings got to a grand total of no Super Bowls with those other players on the team.

A franchise quarterback means more to an NFL organization than a stellar receiver. And if rookie receiver Jordan Addison turns out to be a great receiver, too, the Vikings can keep him and trade Jefferson in a way that positions them to get the true, year-in-and-year-out franchise quarterback they haven’t had since they traded with the Giants to bring Fran Tarkenton back to Minnesota in the 1970s.

That could be the plan. If it isn’t, it could become the reality — if/when Jefferson decides he’s had enough of his skills and abilities not being properly recognized and compensated.
If Caleb Williams is the next joe burrow and it is in writing, sure. But let’s be honest, how many QBs are drafted each year and how many are franchise QBs? Is a known commodity worth that 1% chance? Nah.
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

Post by JJBreaksRecords »

I have been thinking the same thing. As far as we know, maybe JJ doesnt want to waste a few years with a rookie QB.
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

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If KAM really does look at players as stocks I'd expect him to sell high, and JJ's value as a tradable asset will never likely be higher than it will be at the end of this season. If KAM wanted to move up aggressively to draft Williams, that might actually be an astute move on his part.

With that said, I haven't read much about JJ's views on his situation as a contributing factor. We all assume he wants to stay in Minnesota, but what if he doesn't? Is it possible he is frustrated with not being targeted more by Cousins? There was one notable play in the 2nd half of the Buc game where Cousins threw it short of the sticks on 3rd down where JJ had run a deeper route and he threw both hands in the air towards Cousins after the play, clearly frustrated he didn't get that ball. And then there was the scene at the end of the game with him sitting on the bench, also clearly upset with the result (and, I'd think, his lack of involvement in the 2nd half).

If Cousins leaves, would JJ view that as a good, bad or neutral development as far as his career progression is concerned? Randy Moss was traded and went on to win a Superbowl and be a big factor in what was an amazing season for the Patriots. Maybe JJ is looking at the Vikings under the Wilfs and decides this "competitive rebuild" process is actually nonsense and won't lead to the ultimate prize and the career achievements that I'm sure JJ would love to experience before he hangs up his cleats.

All I can say is there are two sides to every deal and both need to see the deal as more advantageous to their ultimate aims than making different individual deals. In this case, JJ might be the one who decides the future looks brighter if he wears a different team's shades. As you pointed out, this team looks like another 8 game winner, which puts them smack dab in the middle of the upcoming draft, which puts them out of contention for a shot at Williams for sure and likely any of the top QB prospects that would enable them to move on from Cousins with any semblance of credibility that at least the future is bright at that position. They've been stuck on this merry-go-round now for what seems like forever - be good enough to hover around playoff contention, but bad enough to get nowhere near Superbowl contention. And so it goes...
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

Post by Cliff »

I don't think they're messing around, I just don't think there's a rush on Jefferson's side.

I think a lot will depend on Addison. If he's good enough to be a #1 and still on his rookie deal rather than needing 35m a year, then they might go that way.

I think Jefferson will stay though. His popularity is better from a business perspective and that's what will make the difference.
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

Post by J. Kapp 11 »

VikingLord wrote: Wed Sep 13, 2023 4:48 pm If KAM really does look at players as stocks I'd expect him to sell high, and JJ's value as a tradable asset will never likely be higher than it will be at the end of this season. If KAM wanted to move up aggressively to draft Williams, that might actually be an astute move on his part.

With that said, I haven't read much about JJ's views on his situation as a contributing factor. We all assume he wants to stay in Minnesota, but what if he doesn't? Is it possible he is frustrated with not being targeted more by Cousins? There was one notable play in the 2nd half of the Buc game where Cousins threw it short of the sticks on 3rd down where JJ had run a deeper route and he threw both hands in the air towards Cousins after the play, clearly frustrated he didn't get that ball. And then there was the scene at the end of the game with him sitting on the bench, also clearly upset with the result (and, I'd think, his lack of involvement in the 2nd half).

If Cousins leaves, would JJ view that as a good, bad or neutral development as far as his career progression is concerned? Randy Moss was traded and went on to win a Superbowl and be a big factor in what was an amazing season for the Patriots. Maybe JJ is looking at the Vikings under the Wilfs and decides this "competitive rebuild" process is actually nonsense and won't lead to the ultimate prize and the career achievements that I'm sure JJ would love to experience before he hangs up his cleats.

All I can say is there are two sides to every deal and both need to see the deal as more advantageous to their ultimate aims than making different individual deals. In this case, JJ might be the one who decides the future looks brighter if he wears a different team's shades. As you pointed out, this team looks like another 8 game winner, which puts them smack dab in the middle of the upcoming draft, which puts them out of contention for a shot at Williams for sure and likely any of the top QB prospects that would enable them to move on from Cousins with any semblance of credibility that at least the future is bright at that position. They've been stuck on this merry-go-round now for what seems like forever - be good enough to hover around playoff contention, but bad enough to get nowhere near Superbowl contention. And so it goes...
I posed this scenario because I honestly don't know what the heck is going on. But I don't believe it's just because JJ's camp isn't in a hurry. I mean, come on. If he signs for 3 years, $35 million per year, he's going to get a lot of that in signing bonus. That means he gets a Brink's truck full of money the day he signs. It means his agent gets 10% of that Brink's truck.

Something is holding things up, and I have a feeling it has nothing to do with money. JJ is going to get paid, and he knows it. The question is whether it will be the Vikings writing the check. That may depend on who's throwing him the ball, and what the long-term outlook for the Vikings looks like in JJ's mind.

You're right. This merry-go-round of mediocrity is maddening. Is it maddening to JJ? Or is he a true believer?
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

Post by chicagopurple »

Dont waste your time worrying about how the Vikes are going to retain JJ. It will never happen. Premier WRs dont stay in MN. Why would they? There are too many better run teams out there who have better QBs, better OCs, with REAL chances of winning a Super Bowl. MN is just a stepping stone. Our senseless mismatch of a pocket dependent QB and swiss cheese front lines will never be attractive to a WR who can go to any team he chooses.
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

Post by StanM »

Anything is possible and I can’t predict the future. For all anyone knows JJ could go down with an injury tonight and change this whole conversation. Until anything verifiable actually happens we don’t have a clue what their plans are.

It could be as simple as waiting until they anticipated cap space clears up. Then again there could be a shocking move in the planning stages that will blind side fans. That’s why we follow the Vikings and watch the games. We haven’t got a clue.

I would support a JJ trade if Addison is as good as KOC has been saying. On the other hand if they pay him after the season I would support that as well. I’ve seen every Vikings player come and go since game one 1961 and expect the unexpected.

One thing I can’t get on board with is the idea that the Vikings have a history of trading star receivers so they’ll do the same with JJ. Trotting out what happened under previous staffs and GM’s and different players and situations isn’t proof of anything happening today.
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

Post by chicagopurple »

usually I would agree that what happened under one GM has nothing with what the next GM will do BUT in the case of the VIkes I have become convinced that the new GM is not his own man. THis team continues to neglect its front lines just like we did for over a decade with the previous idiotic GM. I dont see any great shift in thinking. We are in the same rut of failure. I dont think things will become exciting and possibly successful until ownership changes.
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

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chicagopurple wrote: Thu Sep 14, 2023 10:51 am usually I would agree that what happened under one GM has nothing with what the next GM will do BUT in the case of the VIkes I have become convinced that the new GM is not his own man. THis team continues to neglect its front lines just like we did for over a decade with the previous idiotic GM. I dont see any great shift in thinking. We are in the same rut of failure. I dont think things will become exciting and possibly successful until ownership changes.
If JJ makes it out of this building while Hockenson got extended I’d hope the whole franchise is run out of town.
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

Post by cmoss84 »

allday1991 wrote: Thu Sep 14, 2023 10:54 am
chicagopurple wrote: Thu Sep 14, 2023 10:51 am usually I would agree that what happened under one GM has nothing with what the next GM will do BUT in the case of the VIkes I have become convinced that the new GM is not his own man. THis team continues to neglect its front lines just like we did for over a decade with the previous idiotic GM. I dont see any great shift in thinking. We are in the same rut of failure. I dont think things will become exciting and possibly successful until ownership changes.
If JJ makes it out of this building while Hockenson got extended I’d hope the whole franchise is run out of town.
Agreed. I just don't see any scenario where we don't sign JJ. We have the best WR in the game. We have a stud rookie on a cheap contract and a solid TE who will hopefully pan out. We are finally shifting to cheap RBs. Also, way too risky to trade JJ for a top-5 pick. There have been so many "sure thing" QBs who have busted.

I am hoping we reconstruct Cousins' contract so he can play another year or two. I have a feeling Hunter will be gone soon and we will allocate those dollars to OL.
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

Post by JJBreaksRecords »

Some of you guys aernt looking at this through JJ's eyes. Just cause the media has told us JJ is fine without the contract yet, and more than happy to wait until the end of the season to start negotiations, doesnt make it so. JJ wants more money than God right now, and believes hes worth it. He may want both, all the money in the world, AND a SB talent wise team. I dont think the Vikings are near a SB teams, and after next year, without Cousins, we aernt close. Think about that while you think about JJ negotiations.
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

Post by J. Kapp 11 »

JJBreaksRecords wrote: Thu Sep 14, 2023 6:11 pm Some of you guys aernt looking at this through JJ's eyes. Just cause the media has told us JJ is fine without the contract yet, and more than happy to wait until the end of the season to start negotiations, doesnt make it so. JJ wants more money than God right now, and believes hes worth it. He may want both, all the money in the world, AND a SB talent wise team. I dont think the Vikings are near a SB teams, and after next year, without Cousins, we aernt close. Think about that while you think about JJ negotiations.
This is a VERY valid point. I asked the question above as to whether JJ really believes in this organization or whether he’s turning toward the idea that they’ll never get their act together.

Money is not going to be an issue. It’s a small sample size, but the man is on pace for 170 receptions and 2,650 yards, and that’s against two of the better defenses in the NFL. He’s going to get paid.

But if the only issue were money, I believe the contract would already be done.

I have no knowledge of anything except what’s been reported. But I have to believe that JJ’s team has some questions for the Vikings. If I were his agent, here’s what I’d be asking.

— Who’s going to be throwing him the ball? Kirk isn’t signed. If not Kirk, who?
— What are the Vikings doing to protect whoever is throwing him the ball?
— What are the Vikings doing to actually improve the running game? That affects how easy or difficult it is for JJ to get the ball.
— What’s the actual plan for turning the Vikings into a consistent winner that truly contends year after year?

I have to believe that JJ doesn’t want to look back on his career in the same way Calvin Johnson looks back on his — stuck with a team that had no chance to win a Lombardi. This is what worries me, not whether the Vikings are willing to make the best receiver in the game a rich man.
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

Post by Cliff »

J. Kapp 11 wrote: Wed Sep 13, 2023 9:31 pm
VikingLord wrote: Wed Sep 13, 2023 4:48 pm If KAM really does look at players as stocks I'd expect him to sell high, and JJ's value as a tradable asset will never likely be higher than it will be at the end of this season. If KAM wanted to move up aggressively to draft Williams, that might actually be an astute move on his part.

With that said, I haven't read much about JJ's views on his situation as a contributing factor. We all assume he wants to stay in Minnesota, but what if he doesn't? Is it possible he is frustrated with not being targeted more by Cousins? There was one notable play in the 2nd half of the Buc game where Cousins threw it short of the sticks on 3rd down where JJ had run a deeper route and he threw both hands in the air towards Cousins after the play, clearly frustrated he didn't get that ball. And then there was the scene at the end of the game with him sitting on the bench, also clearly upset with the result (and, I'd think, his lack of involvement in the 2nd half).

If Cousins leaves, would JJ view that as a good, bad or neutral development as far as his career progression is concerned? Randy Moss was traded and went on to win a Superbowl and be a big factor in what was an amazing season for the Patriots. Maybe JJ is looking at the Vikings under the Wilfs and decides this "competitive rebuild" process is actually nonsense and won't lead to the ultimate prize and the career achievements that I'm sure JJ would love to experience before he hangs up his cleats.

All I can say is there are two sides to every deal and both need to see the deal as more advantageous to their ultimate aims than making different individual deals. In this case, JJ might be the one who decides the future looks brighter if he wears a different team's shades. As you pointed out, this team looks like another 8 game winner, which puts them smack dab in the middle of the upcoming draft, which puts them out of contention for a shot at Williams for sure and likely any of the top QB prospects that would enable them to move on from Cousins with any semblance of credibility that at least the future is bright at that position. They've been stuck on this merry-go-round now for what seems like forever - be good enough to hover around playoff contention, but bad enough to get nowhere near Superbowl contention. And so it goes...
I posed this scenario because I honestly don't know what the heck is going on. But I don't believe it's just because JJ's camp isn't in a hurry. I mean, come on. If he signs for 3 years, $35 million per year, he's going to get a lot of that in signing bonus. That means he gets a Brink's truck full of money the day he signs. It means his agent gets 10% of that Brink's truck.

Something is holding things up, and I have a feeling it has nothing to do with money. JJ is going to get paid, and he knows it. The question is whether it will be the Vikings writing the check. That may depend on who's throwing him the ball, and what the long-term outlook for the Vikings looks like in JJ's mind.

You're right. This merry-go-round of mediocrity is maddening. Is it maddening to JJ? Or is he a true believer?
From a business standpoint, if he believes he'll stay healthy and believes he won't have a slump or even be more impressive, he stands to make more if he waits. So if they asked for a really high number, say he wants 40m and not 35m, the team may not be willing to go that high but he's willing to wait them out to at least get a better number later. The market goes up for WRs every year. Next year his stock will be even higher than it is now. Next season he still gets the signing bonus, except it'll probably be higher and he'll get wages set based on next seasons numbers which, again, should be higher.

This year his salary wouldn't have gone up regardless. The signing bonus can only happen once whether it's this year or next. If I felt my value would be even higher a year from now and I'm already a millionaire from my current salary and business dealings I know I wouldn't be in a hurry.
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Re: The Justin Jefferson contract situation

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Cliff wrote: Fri Sep 15, 2023 8:02 am
J. Kapp 11 wrote: Wed Sep 13, 2023 9:31 pm
I posed this scenario because I honestly don't know what the heck is going on. But I don't believe it's just because JJ's camp isn't in a hurry. I mean, come on. If he signs for 3 years, $35 million per year, he's going to get a lot of that in signing bonus. That means he gets a Brink's truck full of money the day he signs. It means his agent gets 10% of that Brink's truck.

Something is holding things up, and I have a feeling it has nothing to do with money. JJ is going to get paid, and he knows it. The question is whether it will be the Vikings writing the check. That may depend on who's throwing him the ball, and what the long-term outlook for the Vikings looks like in JJ's mind.

You're right. This merry-go-round of mediocrity is maddening. Is it maddening to JJ? Or is he a true believer?
From a business standpoint, if he believes he'll stay healthy and believes he won't have a slump or even be more impressive, he stands to make more if he waits. So if they asked for a really high number, say he wants 40m and not 35m, the team may not be willing to go that high but he's willing to wait them out to at least get a better number later. The market goes up for WRs every year. Next year his stock will be even higher than it is now. Next season he still gets the signing bonus, except it'll probably be higher and he'll get wages set based on next seasons numbers which, again, should be higher.

This year his salary wouldn't have gone up regardless. The signing bonus can only happen once whether it's this year or next. If I felt my value would be even higher a year from now and I'm already a millionaire from my current salary and business dealings I know I wouldn't be in a hurry.
I personally wouldn't risk an injury that could cost me possibly $175million. If I were in his position I would sign now.