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NFL insiders project historic salary for next Justin Jefferson contract

Justin Jefferson

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson has become one of the best players in the NFL since he entered the league in 2020. As he nears his first opportunity to land a contract extension, Jefferson could soon become one of the highest-paid NFL players ever.

Selected with the 22nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the 23-year-old becomes eligible for a contract extension this offseason. While Minnesota doesn’t need to rush into signing the All-Pro wideout to an extension, the rising NFL salary cap and player salaries could make it a priority this spring.

The 2022 NFL offseason completely changed the landscape for receivers. Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams were both traded and then signed multi-year extensions worth a maximum value of nearly $28 million per season.

  • Justin Jefferson stats (2022): 81 receptions, 1,232 yards, 15.2 ypc, five touchdowns

Likewise, Stefon Diggs, Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, D.J. Metcalf, Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin and Mike Williams with the AAV ranging from $26.7 million (Cooper Kupp) to $20 million (Williams).

As teams prepare for a massive spike in the salary cap in the coming years, players and agents are also aware of the increased revenue. It all helps shape upcoming contract extensions and Jefferson’s will likely break records.

On the NFL’s The Insiders show, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero weighed in on Jefferson’s upcoming contract extension and the potential cost for Minnesota to extend him this spring.

“Right now, you’ve seen some shorter deals for wide receivers…If you’re trying to do the deal now, which if you’re (GM) Kwesi Adofo-Mensah you’re going to do the deal eventually with Justin Jefferson, maybe you get a little better deal if you pay him early. Is it 3 years and $90 million? Is it four years and $120 million? The $30 million a year mark seems like the magic number.”

Tom Pelissero on future Justin Jefferson contract extension

Justin Jefferson contract forecast

Hill’s contract with the Miami Dolphins carries a maximum average annual value of $30 million, receiving $120 million over four seasons. A large part of that comes in 2026 when he would have a $43.9 million base salary and $50.1 million cap hit. However, Miami can cut him before June 1, 2026, and clear $45 million in cap space.

It’s a similar contract structure for Adams. The Raiders’ star is owed a $35.64 million salary in 2025 and ’26. Of course, Las Vegas can cut him and free up $28 million in cap space at the start of the 2025 NFL offseason.

  • Justin Jefferson career stats: 4,248 receiving yards, 277 receptions, 183 first downs, 22 touchdowns in 44 games

Asked on The Insiders about Jefferson’s eventual contract, the NFL insider shared the belief that any deal will likely need to start at $30 million per year. Unlike Hill and Adams, though, there will be more guaranteed money and it could be a short-term deal.

“I would say it starts with a three. I would say probably heavy on the guaranteed money. This is a no-brainer because he’s great, he performs best when the stakes are the highest and he’s a good guy…I think it starts with a three….Whatever it is, it’s going to be closer to a real $30 (million AAV).”

Ian Rapoport on potential contract length, guaranteed money for Justin Jefferson

Considering Jefferson is breaking NFL records and making quarterback Kirk Cousins look even better, Minnesota might feel obligated to sign its biggest star. Jefferson is on a trajectory to be one of the best wide receivers in NFL history, someone who could one day have a statue outside U.S. Bank Stadium.

Beloved by coaches, teammates and fans, Jefferson is on his way to earning a record-breaking contract and the Vikings should be happy to extend him for as long as possible.

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