The Minnesota Vikings and WR Justin Jefferson are expected to begin negotiations on a long-term extension once the offseason officially begins.
A 2022 MVP candidate, Jefferson nearly completed the triple crown of receiving (most catches, yards and touchdowns) and fell just short of the single-season receiving yards mark still held by Calvin Johnson.
So what will Jefferson’s extension look like?
There are a number of factors that contribute to a players market value: position, age, production and current market.
While the quarterback market it based almost entirely off ‘who’s next’ the wide receiver market has levels. The truly elite will make the most, high-end WR2’s will make great money but not as high as elite and a third level consisting of really good receivers on cheaper deals than expected.
The Minnesota Vikings are going to have to pay Jefferson the first.
Jefferson will turn 24 this summer off the most productive first three years to a receivers career in league history. His market is that of a top 1-10 WR.
For example, these are the top 10 receivers based on average annual value + overall guaranteed:
- Tyreek Hill – $30 million/year ($72.2 million guaranteed)
- Davante Adams – $28 million/year ($65.6 million guaranteed)
- DeAndre Hopkins – $27.25 million/year ($60 million guaranteed)
- Cooper Kupp – $26.7 million/year ($75 million guaranteed)
- A.J. Brown – $25 million/year ($57.2 million guaranteed)
- Stefon Diggs – $24 million/year ($70 million guaranteed)
- D.K. Metcalf – $24 million/year ($58.2 million guaranteed)
- Deebo Samuel – $23.85 million/year ($58.1 million guaranteed)
- Terry McLaurin – $22.8 million/year ($53.1 million guaranteed)
- D.J. Moore – $20.6 million/year ($41.6 million guaranteed)
Given Jefferson’s production range for his first three seasons, not only is his market among these players, it likely exceeds them.
As a matter of fact, his estimated yearly average is ranging between $26-$28 million per year, with $80+ million in guaranteed money. Which would make him the highest earning wide receiver in the NFL.
You pay for elite and that’s what Jefferson is. These figures are laying the foundation for the Vikings to deliver a major payday for their young playmaker.
Getting it done this offseason, now that he’s eligible, keeps him out of the market. With the likes of CeeDee Lamb, Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle and Tee Higgins coming between now and the next two years, it saves the Vikings money now.
Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn of USA TODAY Sports