Justin Jefferson, Vikings strike historic four-year, $140 million contract extension

Justin Jefferson, Vikings strike historic four-year, $140 million contract extension

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The Minnesota Vikings and Justin Jefferson agreed to a contract extension Monday that makes him the highest-paid wide receiver and non-quarterback in NFL history.

According to ESPN, which first reported the deal, the contract is for four years and $140 million with $110 million guaranteed. Jefferson will also receive a signing bonus of $88.743 million, the highest for a non-quarterback in league history.

Since the Vikings selected Jefferson with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 draft, the former LSU Tiger has distinguished himself as one of the NFL’s best receivers. He finished second in 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year voting following a 1,400-yard inaugural campaign. The following season, Jefferson snagged 10 touchdowns and caught 108 passes on his way to a 1,616-yard season.

Jefferson, 24, solidified his status in 2022 by leading the league with 1,809 receiving yards and 128 catches. He averaged 106.1 receiving yards per game and was voted the Offensive Player of the Year in addition to being a first-team All-Pro. He has 30 career touchdowns and been to three Pro Bowls.

“The time has finally come, the deal I’ve been waiting for since I was a little kid,” Jefferson said in a video message he posted on social media.

The extension kicks in after the 2024 season. Jefferson will play this season on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.

The Louisiana native mentioned not being a highly touted recruit –he had a three-star ranking – or the first wideout in his class to be drafted as motivating factors that led to his payday.

“This whole journey hasn’t been easy,” he said.

Jefferson also thanked his parents, his brothers, Vikings fans, Minnesota head coach Kevin O’Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

“I’ve always dreamt of this moment,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson missed seven games last year with a hamstring strain, but he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark nonetheless.

“Over the first four seasons of his career, Justin entrenched himself as the best wide receiver and one of the most electric players in the NFL,” Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wolf said in a statement. “He is a special talent, a committed teammate and an excellent representative of the Vikings. Justin has earned this contract, and we are thrilled he will remain a Minnesota Viking for a very long time.”

The Vikings are entering a new era at quarterback after Jefferson was on the other end of Kirk Cousins spirals for the first part of his career. Cousins left for the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, and Minnesota drafted J.J. McCarthy with the 10th overall pick in the draft.

NFL’s highest-paid wide receivers

All figures are from overthecap.com and based on average contract value.

1. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings: $35 million (four years, $140 million)

2. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles: $32 million (three years, $96 million)

3. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions: $30.002 million (four years, $120.01 million)

4. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins: $30 million (four years, $120 million)

5. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins: $28.25 million (three years, $84.75 million)

6. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders: $28 million (five years, $140 million)

7. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams: $26.7 million (three years, $80.1 million)

8. DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles: $25 million (three years, $75 million)

9. Nico Collins, Houston Texans: $24.25 million (three years, $72.75 million)

10. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks: $24 million (three years, $72 million)

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