The Vikings’ wide receiver is only earning $3.3 million per year, but that should change soon. Boardroom projects a Justin Jefferson extension.
When the Minnesota Vikings shipped Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills in 2020, they didn’t try to replace him with a splashy free agent signing — they simply chose the right guy with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Three years and two Pro Bowl bids later, Justin Jefferson is leading a 10-2 Vikings team at the top of the NFC North. Though the sample size is only 2.5 seasons, the 23-year-old is arguably the best wide receiver in all of football while earning only $3.3 million from his rookie deal. Wrap some context around that and you have the 67th-highest-paid receiver in the game, or No. 530 on the list of highest-paid NFL players.
This is someone who’s second in yards (1,277), second in yards/game (106.4), and third in receptions (88) with six touchdowns. All things considered, it’s almost insulting, even though his contract is based on rookie salary structure. But that won’t be the case much longer; he’s eligible for a huge extension this offseason.
How much? Let’s take a gander.
What is Justin Jefferson’s 2023 Market Value?
Spotrac determines its own market value estimates based on a player’s age, contract status, and statistical production. It doesn’t take into account wins, awards, injuries, or playoff performance, but it’s a useful measuring stick when comparing other players’ contracts.
In Jefferson’s case, he might become one of the richest WRs in the league by total value at 23 years old.
Projecting the size of a Justin Jefferson contract extension
- By Spotrac’s estimates, Jefferson’s first contract extension could be pegged at four years and $110 million. That would rank No. 3 in terms of total value.
- His average annual salary is projected at $27,511,085, which would also rank third — one spot ahead of DeAndre Hopkins and one behind Davante Adams.
Comparable WRs by Value
Comparable WRs by Stats
|PLYR||REC TGT||REC/GM||REC YDS/GM|
To be clear, Jefferson is simply eligible for an extension following the 2022 season. It doesn’t necessarily mean the Vikings will fast-track the process. They could wait until his first free agency a year later, at which point the franchise tag will very much be on the table, kicking the can down the road one more year.
Will they hesitate? It wouldn’t be wise.
They should look at their own record books. No one in NFL history has ever had more receiving yards in their first three seasons than Jefferson. The 23-year-old superstar broke former Viking Randy Moss’s record of 4,163 yards against the Patriots on Thanksgiving. Moss did it in 43 starts — Jefferson did it in 42.
We rest our case.
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