Justin Jefferson, the top wide receiver in the NFL, will apparently have to wait another season for his payday.
The Minnesota Vikings are not expected to sign the All-Pro to a contract extension before their season opener Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The two sides are reportedly expected to revisit the contract talks after the upcoming season.
Jefferson led the NFL in receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809) last season, his third straight season topping 1,400 yards since debuting for the Vikings in 2020. No player in NFL history has posted as many receiving yards in his first three seasons as the 24-year-old Jefferson.
This was the first offseason in which Jefferson was eligible for a contract extension, with fellow 2021 first-round draft picks Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Trevon Diggs already seeing major paydays.
The Vikings have Jefferson under contract for one more year after this season, thanks to the obvious decision to pick up his fifth-year option. The team could theoretically keep him another season or two after that with the franchise tag, but locking him down long-term will not be cheap.
Jefferson is widely expected to land a deal larger than the four-year, $120 million contract Tyreek Hill landed with the Miami Dolphins, the previous high water mark among wide receiver contracts. Not only are NFL salaries still growing, Jefferson is four years younger than Hill was when the speedster signed that deal, with nearly 1,500 more yards than Hill posted in the three years before his deal.
Another All-Pro season from Jefferson would only make the price go up for the Vikings, but the team still has multiple years to figure this out.