Vikings GM slams door on Justin Jefferson trade rumors: 'Not something that has ever crossed my mind'


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The Minnesota Vikings’ front office will have their hands full this offseason. 

The franchise likely wants to find a way to bring back quarterback Kirk Cousins, and come to an agreement on a long-term contract that will keep star wide receiver Justin Jefferson in Minnesota for the long haul.

Jefferson, a three-time All-Pro, is scheduled to play in 2024 under the fifth-year option of his rookie deal. Jefferson is expected to earn $19.743 million, according to the formula laid out in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association.

However, the Vikings and Jefferson’s representatives have been engaged in negations on a lucrative long-term deal since the end of the 2022 season, per reports from ESPN.

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Justin Jefferson vs Chargers

Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on after the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 24, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

As the two sides continued to fall short of reaching an agreement, rumors began to surface about the Vikings potentially trading Jefferson. But, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah quickly shut down those rumors.

“That is not something that has ever crossed my mind,” Adofo-Mensah said at the NFL Combine regarding the idea of dealing the star wideout. “You got a blue(chip) player, a blue(chip) person. You try to keep as many of those as you can.”

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Adofo-Mensah hinted that the team was on the verge of reaching an agreement with Jefferson last offseason.

“We had a lot of great dialogue last offseason,” he said. “I think people forget, deals rarely happen after three years, and there is a reason for that. Two years left. There is uncertainty that somebody’s got to hold — either the club’s got to hold, or the player’s got to hold. There’s new money, old money. How do you look at contracts? Those are very hard conversations to have. So a lot of them don’t get done. We got unbelievably close.”

Kwesi Adolfo-Mensah speaks to the media

General manager Kwesi Adolfo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings speaks to the media during the NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on February 27, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell also railed against the idea that Jefferson would depart the team via a trade.

“I can tell you we have no intent to trade Justin Jefferson. We have had zero discussions, dialogue about that either internally, externally, on this planet or another planet,” O’Connell said.

“I feel very strongly that Justin is best in his position in football. Any time you’re trying to reset the receiver market — we know who he is, we know what Justin’s earned through his first four years in this league — you know how hard it is. … It was never gonna be something that was just be easy to get done, but the intent was there. The intent is still stronger than ever to get something done with Justin.”

Justin Jefferson vs Panthers

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson catches a touchdown pass against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C.  (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

Jefferson is widely regarded as the best player at his position in the NFL. He missed seven games last year due to injury, but still finished the season with 1,074 receiving yards. His 5,899 career receiving yards is the most in NFL history over a player’s first four seasons.

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In 2022, Jefferson finished with an NFL-best 128 receptions for a league-leading 1,809 yards. He received NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors for his strong performance.

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