What could a Justin Jefferson contract extension look like?

The Minnesota Vikings are enjoying the most success they have had since 2017 this season with an 8-1 start and there are already questions coming about an extension for Justin Jefferson.

While it is a bit premature, we are only two months away from Jefferson being able to negotiate his first extension as a professional football player.

With all of the recent extensions that players have signed, it is important to understand what the market is telling us so we can make an informed opinion on what the extension could look like.

I also went to Twitter to see what others thought it could look like and we got some interesting results. Let’s take a look at the history of wide receiver extensions and some different proposed contract extensions.

List

13 plays that show Kirk Cousins is a great quarterback

Past extensions

Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) hugs Washington Commanders offensive tackle Saahdiq Charles (77) after their game at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In order to understand what Jefferson could sign an extension for, let’s look at some recent extensions.

I group them into two bubbles: players on rookie contracts and players on second contracts. Due to the age disparity between the two, how they approach getting their next extension can be quite different. In fact, it’s very different.

Players on second contracts

  • Tyreek Hill-4 years/$120 million

  • Davante Adams-5 years/$140 million

  • Stefon Diggs-4 years/$96 million

It’s important to know that these three signed those extensions at 28 years old and already had gotten a nice second payday. In doing so with these deals, it’s possibly the last time that they could cash in. Hill’s contract has a very bloated final year that he likely never sees the money from which is why it’s at $30 million.

Players signing second contracts

  • A.J. Brown-4 years/$100 million

  • D.K. Metcalf-3 years/$72 million

  • Terry McLaurin-3 years/$69.6 million

  • Chris Godwin-3 years/$60 million

  • Mike Williams-3 years/$60 million

  • Diontae Johnson-2 years/$36.71 million

  • D.J. Moore-3 years/$61.88 million

  • Courtland Sutton-4 years/$60 million

  • Deebo Samuel-3 years/$71.55 million

The common theme with these contracts is that they are all setup so the player can cash in on one more big contract before they turn 30. It also should be noted that only one of these players (Mike Williams) was drafted in the first round but the Chargers declined his fifth-year option due to a late breakout because of injuries.

How does that impact what Jefferson chooses to do? Well, he will be 23 when he can start negotiating the contract and will be 26 when the new contract kicks in after the 5th year option. The idea being that Jefferson could cash in big at the age of 28 when receiver contracts will be even more than they are now.

[listicle id=69007]

5 years/$155 million

Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) runs after a catch against the Washington Commanders during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The editor of Pro Football Talk Michael David Smith proposed this one which I found fascinating.

It is $1 million more in average annual value than Hill’s deal and $15 more than Adam’s total value. I think the value of $31 million on an annual basis is spot on for being the best wide receiver in football.

The tricky thing here is the total length being five years. I think the Vikings will definitely want a longer-term deal for both flexibility and to ensure Jefferson remains a Viking for a long time.

[listicle id=69000]

3 years/$100 million fully guaranteed

Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) makes a reception over Washington Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste (25) during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

This one will surpass the AAV mark by a good $3 million, but with how wide receiver prices have skyrocketed over the past year, this doesn’t feel like a stretch. This would put him right in prime negotiating range for a new deal when he turns 28. I think this one is pretty likely but the fully guaranteed angle might not be something the Vikings want to do outside of Kirk Cousins.

[listicle id=68977]

8 years/$280 million fully guaranteed

Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a pass in front of Washington Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste (25) during the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

This one is something that I really like. Ed is thinking along the lines of what Patrick Mahomes got with his rolling guarantees where you can use a lot of flexibility in making things worthwhile with the cap.

[listicle id=68908]

Literally anything

Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) reacts after a catch against the Arizona Cardinals during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

There are quite a few who would give Jefferson literally anything they have to keep him under contract, even going as far as using the term infinityl

[listicle id=68886]

My opinion

Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) gets yards after the catch as Arizona Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson (34) moves in for the tackle during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings are going to be in a tough spot, but they can do a lot to make things work with the salary cap. They have one more truly inexpensive season that they can put some money onto to help spread it out and the cap will be going up significantly. The best route for the Vikings is a really long-term deal but I don’t see Jefferson wanting to sign it. Overall, I think it will end up being a short-term deal that will benefit both sides.

Prediction: 3 years/$96 million with $80 million guaranteed

[listicle id=68920]

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire