Despite Minnesota Vikings’ claims of never having “shopped” Justin Jefferson, reputed reporter believes the team considered using him to get a great deal

The Vikings made Justin Jefferson the highest non-QB in NFL history by offering him a $140 million contract.

Despite Minnesota Vikings’ claims of never having “shopped” Justin Jefferson, reputed reporter believes the team considered using him to get a great deal

Justin Jefferson and Mike Florio (via IMAGO/NBC Sports)

Throughout the off-season, there have been a lot of variables for the Minnesota Vikings. The future of quarterback Kirk Cousins was in jeopardy and the direction in which the team was headed was in question. However, the one thing that was not in question was Justin Jefferson securing the bag.

The Minnesota Vikings offered Jefferson a jaw-dropping deal, as expected. The four-year $140 million contract with $110 million of it guaranteed makes him the highest-paid non-QB player in NFL history. However, does this mean that the team never attempted to use him as leverage to secure lucrative trade offers? Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk believes otherwise.

The analyst reported that the Vikings had hoped to secure a Herschel Walker-kind of offer in exchange for Jefferson. To offer some context, in 1989, the Dallas Cowboys traded their running back Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings in a blockbuster trade, one-of-its-kind that involved an exchange of 18 picks. The Vikings gave up 4 players and 8 draft picks in exchange for him.

While the Vikings have zero interest in giving those past possibilities any credence, it’s fair to think they were waiting to see if someone might have spontaneously made an offer they wouldn’t have refused.
Florio wrote.

The Vikings failed to get any offers for Justin Jefferson because they knew the price for him would be exorbitant

Justin Jefferson would command a price tag similar to Walker, no doubt about it. He would instantly make a competitive football team a contender in their division. The 49ers were reportedly one of the teams that attempted to reach out to ask about a trade for Jefferson but it did not pan out. The Vikings took their own sweet time to offer the star wideout an extension. This resulted in his close associates believing that the team was “playing games” with the face of the franchise.

Justin Jefferson
Justin Jefferson (Via Imago)

The team just wanted to wait until after the draft was done to offer Jefferson his contract. Florio believes the Vikings did not want to regret getting an offer too good to refuse for Jefferson in the draft. Had the team gotten an offer to move up from the number 11 spot to number 5 to draft Malik Nabors, WR out of LSU, they could have potentially considered it.

If the team had landed Nabors, who the New York Giants drafted, in that case, Justin Jefferson would get the message that the team was not looking to offer him a big contract to keep him in Minnesota. Irrespective of how things went down, the team would like fans to believe that signing Jefferson to an extension was a ‘no-brainer’ but fans understand how the NFL works. It was just that the team had hoped to get the world in exchange for him but no team was willing to pay a price that exorbitant. Ultimately, the Vikings realized they were in a win-win situation with absolutely nothing to lose.

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