Justin Jefferson #18, NFL, Football, Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings’ Justin Jefferson Secures Historic $140M NFL Deal And He Isn’t A Quarterback

Just 24 hours before the start of the 2023 season, Jefferson turned down a contract offer from the Vikings that would have put more than $28 million in his pockets annually.

It was one thing for Justin Jefferson to achieve his childhood dreams of playing in the National Football League (NFL), but a whole different testimony now that he is making history as the highest-paid non-quarterback in the sport’s history.

Drafted as an overall first-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings during the 2020 NFL Draft, Jefferson has officially inked a four-year, $140 million contract extension, which includes a guarantee of $110 million, according to a report from ESPN.

Per the deal negotiated by WME Football, Jefferson will receive $88.743 million at signing. During an announcement on Monday (June 3) morning, he agreed to an extension that runs through the 2028 season. No further details on the financial terms of the full agreement have been disclosed.

“The time has finally come. The deal I’ve been waiting for since I was a little kid,” said Jefferson in a clip shared via his Instagram account. “Being doubted my whole career and not being highly recruited. Not being the first receiver off the draft board. This whole journey wasn’t easy for me. To be given a gift to play football at the highest level–it’s a blessing. It’s an honor.”

He also took a moment to acknowledge the support his loved ones had given him throughout the journey to this moment.

“Y’all set the tone. Y’all set the mood. Y’all set the energy,” Jefferson continued. “And I’m definitely excited to set the energy for five more years. … This is the start of it, but we ain’t done yet. Just wait.”

Sources report that many teams inquired about Jefferson during the offseason. However, the Vikings were clear on their intentions regarding a potential trade. The wide receiver, who has had an impressive four-year start in the NFL with 392 receptions for 5,899 yards and 30 touchdowns, is here to stay.

“We think he’s the best wide receiver in the league and should be compensated as such,” said Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah then. “We think he’s one of the best non-quarterbacks in the league and think he should be compensated as such.”

Following the news of Jefferson’s historic deal, Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf said that the soon-to-be 25-year-old sports star has “earned this contract, and we are thrilled he will remain a Minnesota Viking for a very long time.”

“From the moment I arrived in Minnesota, Justin has consistently proven to be one of the best players in the NFL on and off the field, and we are excited about having him as a cornerstone of our team for a long time to come,” said Adofo-Mensah in an official statement.

“He is the living embodiment of our culture with his joyful dedication to process and our goals. We couldn’t be more excited for Justin and his family.”

Just 24 hours before the start of the 2023 season, Jefferson turned down a contract offer from the Vikings that would have put more than $28 million in his pockets annually.

By choosing to bet on himself, the three-time Pro Bowler will now average $35 million per season thanks to the contract extension. Not only will he replace San Francisco 49ers pass-rusher Nick Bosa, who previously held the non-quarterback record salary in the league, but Jefferson’s contract is valued at $1 million more.

Named the 2022 Offensive Player of the Year, Jefferson’s star power, matched with his skill sets, is one to be studied. He has averaged 98.3 receiving yards per game, “the most in NFL history for any career span.”

Additionally, his average of 6.5 catches per game is the “second highest of any receiver in his first four seasons.”

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