A blockbuster Vikings-Bengals trade for Justin Jefferson that actually works

Rumors surrounding Justin Jefferson reuniting with his former college teammates Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase aren't going away quietly. Here is how to get Jefferson onto the Cincinnati Bengals.

Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson, Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings
Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson, Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

With Kirk Cousins going to the Atlanta Falcons, that opens the door for Justin Jefferson to leave the Minnesota Vikings as well. While Cousins was allowed to choose wherever he wanted to go in his free agency, Jefferson would have to be traded, as he is still on his rookie contract out of LSU. One team that could make a great deal of sense for him would have to be the Cincinnati Bengals. That'd be fun!

While these rumors aren't going away quietly, Cincinnati trading for Jefferson would be about replacing Tee Higgins in the Bengals' receiving corps. He was slapped with the franchise tag, and seems to want out. There are two big reasons why Jefferson might be ineterested in going to the Bengals. That would be his two former LSU teammates in Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase. Let's go!

So if we were to shell out an idea for a trade of getting Jefferson to the Queen City, this is a start...

Justin Jefferson to Bengals mock trade

If the Vikings wanted a player to help improve their roster, they might want to look at someone like former Clemson star edge rusher Myles Murphy. Like Jefferson, he was a late first-round pick out of a college football powerhouse. Swapping a pair of fourth-round picks this year could help make the dollars make sense. Keep in mind that Murphy is just coming off his rookie season with the Bengals.

Of course, the Vikings can command more if they gave Jefferson a new contract before dealing him.

What a possible Bengals trade package could look like for Justin Jefferson

Again, this is a rough shell of the genesis of what a trade between the Bengals and Vikings involving Jefferson could look like. If he got a mega-deal beforehand, that would certainly change the calculus considerably. He is in the same draft class as Burrow, meaning he will be playing out his fifth-year option with whatever team he is on. Chase is entering his fourth season out of LSU as a first-rounder.

To me, trading for Jefferson reeks of desperation on the Bengals' behalf. They just lost their star offensive coordinator Brian Callahan to the Tennessee Titans. Burrow is coming off his second major injury in four seasons. Jefferson is not going to be making pennies on the dollar for all that much longer. Although they are much better about this, the Bengals are historically a very frugal franchise.

If the Vikings are going to circle the drain this year, then I would cut ties with other high-priced assets like Jefferson, in order to get the best pick possible in the 2025 NFL Draft. If Minnesota does not elect to take a quarterback No. 11 overall this spring (they are going to trade up to get one, but still), they could be at the top of the first round in next year's draft, one that will have many quarterbacks...

As for the Bengals, they understand that their Super Bowl window is closing. To be honest, it may have already closed. It may re-open at some point, but the next team Burrow leads that might be good enough to get there could look vastly different. Who is to say Chase, or even Jefferson, would be a part of it? Regardless, the Vikings would have so much leverage in a deal with the Bengals.

A former first-round defender with star potential could be the centerpiece of a package going back.

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