NFL Rumors: Dak Prescott standstill, Vikings-Justin Jefferson bad news, Justin Fields timeline

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NFL Rumors: Vikings get bad news on Justin Jefferson front

What happens in the 2024 offseason with the Minnesota Vikings could very much determine the future of the franchise. Yes, a substantial part of that conversation revolves around the quarterback position. With Kirk Cousins slated for free agency, the Vikings have to consider whether or not to bring him back and, perhaps more pertinently, what to do if they choose to move on.

Beyond the man under center in the Twin Cities, though, the Vikings also are in the position where they must lock up one of the best wide receivers in the NFL to a new contract, Justin Jefferson. Entering the final year of his rookie contract under the fifth-year option, Jefferson has patiently been negotiating with the franchise for some time, but no deal has come about just yet.

Further complicating matters, however, is the recent news that the NFL's salary cap will increase to an unprecedented $255+ million for the 2024 season. As Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio notes, that only raises the price tag for the Vikings with Jefferson:

"The one fundamental truth about giving one of your own great players the contract he deserves is that the price will always go up if you wait. Always. As of Friday, with the salary cap shooting to $255.4 million per team, Jefferson’s price goes up even higher."

Florio cited the recent contracts for Cousins and tight end T.J. Hockenson that included heavy guaranteed money as a big part of the newfound issue for Minnesota. If Jefferson is rightly paid as the top receiver in the NFL, guaranteeing the first three-ish years of the deal could be exorbitantly expensive for the Vikings.

Does that preclude the Vikings from making the deal happen? Absolutely not. However, it does make structuring and negotiating such a contract with Jefferson that much trickier and more difficult. Moreover, it could have an affect on the team's decision-making this offseason in regard to the quarterback position.

It was already a slippery slope for the Vikings with Jefferson, but now they'll really have to watch their footing with the cap increasing.