Vikings HC shares big Justin Jefferson contract update

    It certainly sounds like Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell isn’t losing sleep over the fact that wide receiver Justin Jefferson hasn’t yet signed what likely will be a massive contract extension. 

    “I know everything’s going to get worked out there,” O’Connell said about the situation during a recent appearance on the FanDuel TV “Up & Adams” program, per Kevin Patra of the NFL’s website. “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. That’s on the field, that’s off the field, (he) brings such a great energy to our building every single day. And he’s the ultra-competitor as far as when he steps between the white lines.” 

    Jefferson was the subject of some trade rumors before and after quarterback Kirk Cousins signed with the Atlanta Falcons in free agency. While Minnesota reportedly explored moving up from the 11th pick of this year’s draft to the No. 3 spot to take North Carolina signal-caller Drake Maye, there’s no sign that the Vikings mentioned Jefferson’s name in conversations with the New England Patriots. 

    The Patriots ultimately held onto the draft’s third choice and took Maye. Meanwhile, Minnesota moved up a single spot in the draft order to land Michigan signal-caller J.J. McCarthy. 

    Jefferson is in the final year of his rookie contract and could become the NFL’s highest-paid non-quarterback if he signs an extension between now and the start of the upcoming season. O’Connell indicated that he plans to have Jefferson be a part of the club’s offense for years to come. 

    “Very few people are able to do the things that he’s able to do, but it’s how he goes about his business, how he works, how he pushes his teammates to get better,” O’Connell added about his top playmaker while speaking with show host Kay Adams. “Justin Jefferson is a huge part of this organization.”

    O’Connell and company hope that Jefferson will embrace the task of helping McCarthy develop even if the rookie isn’t named the team’s Week 1 starter. Patra mentioned on Wednesday that “big-time deals in the NFL generally come to fruition closer to training camp in July,” so there remains no reason for Minnesota fans to panic about Jefferson’s status with the club as Memorial Day approaches. 

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