National Football League
Justin Jefferson reportedly absent from Vikings OTAs amid contract talks
National Football League

Justin Jefferson reportedly absent from Vikings OTAs amid contract talks

Published May. 20, 2024 7:25 p.m. ET

Superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson was absent from the first day of Minnesota Vikings offseason team activities (OTAs) Monday amid ongoing discussions between his camp and the team over a contract extension, ESPN reported.

OTAs are voluntary, and Jefferson also missed them last year amid extension talks. However, no deal was made last offseason, though general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah told reporters they came "extremely close" to securing an extension before the start of last season.

Jefferson, the Vikings' first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, has reached the Pro Bowl and been named to an All-Pro team in every season he has been healthy in his professional career. In 2022, his first season in current head coach Kevin O'Connell's offensive system, Jefferson led the NFL in receptions (128), receiving yards (1,809) and receiving yards per game (106.4) and helped the Vikings return to the playoffs. He was on pace for similar marks last season but missed eight games due to a hamstring injury. Despite that, he still recorded over 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth straight year.

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Jefferson is widely expected to shatter the NFL record for a wide receiver contract when he receives his next deal. He is currently set to play on the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, which the Vikings picked up last offseason, and make nearly $20 million guaranteed.

Jefferson may opt to wait and play next season on that option without a contract extension, as the Vikings face uncertainty at quarterback. After losing Kirk Cousins to the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, the Vikings signed former San Francisco 49ers backup Sam Darnold and drafted former Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy 10th overall in last month's 2024 NFL Draft.

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