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Justin Jefferson on J.J. McCarthy: ‘I’m going to be that main person he can lean on’

After signing his new four-year extension with the Vikings, Justin Jefferson said the quarterback situation wasn’t swaying him one way or another. While it might’ve been easier having a veteran like Kirk Cousins behind center — a player he entered the NFL at his side — Jefferson believes whoever is playing the position can allow him to make plays.

“All the quarterback changes that happened, that didn’t really affect me that much,” Jefferson said. “It really didn’t matter who was going to be able to throw the ball. I’m always confident in myself and confident in who’s throwing the ball to give me those types of opportunities and let me go make a play for the team.”

“Having Kirk was a little bit more easier, him being a veteran and me pretty much coming into the league with him as my quarterback,” continued Jefferson. “Things were a lot easier. But of course, things are not always going to be that type of way.”

While a guy like Sam Darnold might start the season or even potentially finish the season, the Vikings did draft J.J. McCarthy out of Michigan No. 10 overall in this year’s draft. The plans are obvious, but McCarthy is supposed to be the guy of the future in Minnesota.

Now that Jefferson is the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL, he will have a bigger role on the Vikings as a leader. Jefferson plans on embracing that role and will do everything in his power to not only get McCarthy up to speed but also become that presence he can lean on.

“I’ve talked to J.J. as soon as he got drafted, I told him ‘Confidence is key’,” Jefferson said of McCarthy. “Just coming into this league with confidence and being able to have leadership right off the bat as a rookie. There’s going to be people to come and help, of course, I’ll be that main person to be in his ear and to try and teach him, and try to prepare him for what we’re about to go through. But I told him, ‘This league is tough’. It’s not easy to come out here and perform at the highest ability as a rookie. But I’ll definitely be that main person he can lean on and help throughout the way.”

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire