NFL Rumors: Justin Jefferson Not at Vikings’ OTAs Amid Contract Extension Talks
Doric SamMay 20, 2024

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 07: Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after a touchdown during the third quarter in the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 07, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson has been in talks with the team about a new contract extension, but a lack of progress led him to send a message of his unhappiness with the negotiations.

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Jefferson was not seen at the team’s training facility on Monday for the start of organized team activities.

The Vikings have six days of OTAs scheduled for the remainder of this month. These workouts are voluntary, but Jefferson would be subjecting himself to being fined if he skips Minnesota’s mandatory minicamp that is set for June 4-6.

Jefferson is entering the final year of his rookie deal in 2024 and he will be making $19.7 million on the fifth-year option on his contract. The three-time Pro Bowler is one of the best receivers in the NFL, so it’s somewhat surprising that the Vikings have yet to lock him up with a long-term deal.

Despite the lack of progress in contract discussions, Minnesota head coach Kevin O’Connell expressed confidence that a deal would eventually get done.

“I know everything’s going to get worked out there,” O’Connell told Kay Adams on Up & Adams last week. “Justin knows the love and admiration that I have for him, and he knows he’s such a big part of what we do around here.”

Kay Adams @heykayadams

Hey Coach Kevin O’Connell, how many times a day do you check to see if Justin Jefferson has signed his extension paperwork?? 😂 @JJettas2 @Vikings #skol

The likely hold-up is the fact that Jefferson isn’t the only star receiver in line for a major payday this offseason. Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals and CeeDee Lamb of the Dallas Cowboys are also expected to earn contract extensions from their respective teams, so they’re likely all waiting to see who sets the market so they can exceed it.

Still, the Vikings are running the risk of building animosity in their best player. Minnesota is facing a transition year after the departure of quarterback Kirk Cousins and the addition of rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who was drafted with the No. 10 pick last month. It will be important for the team to provide some stability for Jefferson if it hopes to avoid losing him sooner than expected.

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