NFL Rumors: Justin Jefferson turned down absurd money from Vikings before 2023 season

Justin Jefferson reportedly turned down a significant contract offer from the Minnesota Vikings before the 2023 season.

Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals / Jeff Dean/GettyImages
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The Minnesota Vikings are experiencing some changes to their roster this offseason. The Vikings have a new running back for the 2024 season in the form of ex-Green Bay Packer Aaron Jones. Edge rusher Danielle Hunter was replaced by former Houston Texan Jonathan Greenard. Perhaps, most importantly, there was a quarterback change.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins left in free agency to sign a four-year, $180 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons. One of Cousins' replacement plans was to sign Sam Darnold to a one-year, $10 million deal. At some point, the Vikings will have to find their long-term option under center. But there is another priority that they must address at some point before the end of the 2024 season -- re-signing star wide receiver Justin Jefferson.

Jefferson is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming season, where he would command the richest contract for a wide receiver in NFL history. It's up to the Vikings to get a deal done. That's not to say they haven't tried.

During an appearance on ESPN's "NFL Live" on Tuesday, senior NFL insider Adam Schefter revealed that before the 2023 season, Jefferson turned down a deal "in excess of $30 million per year."

Justin Jefferson turned down contract 'in excess of $30 million per year' from Vikings

That is a significant update regarding the Vikings' pursuit to keep their 2020 first-round pick long-term.

As of this writing, the wide receiver who is paid the most per season, is Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins, who makes $30 million per season on his four-year, $120 million contract. Making an offer in excess of $30 million per year would set the new benchmark.

In terms of total contract value, Davante Adams sits in first after earning $140 million over six years from the Las Vegas Raiders.

But during the offseason, Jefferson let it be known that he wants to "break the bank." That is not limited to the Vikings, as Jefferson said he wanted to command a lucrative contract "with an organization that wants me."

Jefferson made an immediate impact since arriving in Minnesota from LSU. The wide receiver recorded over 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first four seasons. That includes this past year, where he was limited to 10 games due to a hamstring injury.

In 60 games across his four seasons with the Vikings, Jefferson recorded 392 receptions for 5,899 yards and 30 touchdowns on 576 targets. Jefferson has three Pro Bowl nominations (2020-22), the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year Award (led the league with 128 receptions and 1,809 receiving yards), one First-team All-Pro honor (2022), and two Second-team All-Pro honors (2020-21).

Vikings fans will be patiently waiting to see if the team and Jefferson can get a deal done. First things first, the Vikings will be looking to find a solution to their quarterback problem, which could potentially come in the first-round of the NFL Draft.

One thing is for certain, Jefferson is looking to get paid significantly on his next contract.

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