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Some other storylines of Vikings’ mandatory minicamp, now that Justin Jefferson is taken care of

There was a burning question consuming much of Minnesota with the Vikings set to host mandatory minicamp this week:

Would star receiver Justin Jefferson be in attendance?

That is no longer a cause for concern after Jefferson agreed to an historic contract extension with the Vikings. A source confirmed to the Pioneer Press on Monday morning that it’s a 4-year, $140 million contract extension for Jefferson, which will make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL.

Though it will have a celebratory feeling when the Vikings descend upon TCO Performance Center in Eagan, there is still work to be done at mandatory minicamp this week

Here are some storylines to keep an eye on:

How does Sam Darnold look?

If the past few weeks of organized team activities are any indication, veteran quarterback San Darnold is undoubtedly the starter for the Vikings. He has consistently been working with the other starters on offense while also growing his relationship with head coach Kevin O’Connell. The arm strength has always been there for Darnold. He can zip it around with relative ease no matter where he’s throwing from on the field. The biggest issue for Darnold has always been his lack of consistency under center. It should help that Darnold now gets to throw passes to Jefferson as he attempts to revitalize his career.

Where does J.J. McCarthy slide in?

Unless he proves himself in a major way over the next couple of months, rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy will more than likely start this season watching from the sidelines. He has spent time working in behind both Darnold and veteran Nick Mullens throughout organized team activities. Now, that actually isn’t too surprising given Darnold was signed to be the starter, and Mullens has an institutional knowledge of the offense. That said, McCarthy will seemingly been given the chance to overtake Mullens at some point.

How are the new pieces fitting in on defense?

The overhaul on defense was palpable this offseason. Whether it was the addition of edger rusher Jonathan Greenard, linebacker Blake Cashman and cornerback Shaq Griffin, among others, in free agency, or the selection of rookie edge rusher Dallas Turner in the draft, the Vikings certainly will have a new look on that side of the ball this season. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores is still installing some of the basics of his scheme, so it will be interesting to see how everything starts to come together.

Who’s going to be WR3?

The departure of veteran receiver K.J. Osborn this offseason has created an opening alongside Jefferson and young receiver Jordan Addison. The leader in the clubhouse at the moment appears to be shifty receiver Brandon Powell, who earned the trust of the coaching staff last season, consistently making plays when called upon. There is also speedy receiver Jalen Nailor, who has continuously garnered lots of praise in practice, and likely would have carved out a role for himself last season if he stayed healthy. There are usually a number of receivers that become fan-base darlings during organized team activities, mandatory minicamp and training camp, so perhaps a relative unknown receiver will put himself in the conversation.

Is there an actual kicking competition?

The fact that the Vikings drafted rookie kicker Will Reichard came as a surprise to some. That speaks to how much they wanted him as they look to solidify the position that often plays a major role in wins and losses. The signing of veteran kicker John Parker Romo this offseason was the only reason this is worth anybody’s attention. It will at least be worth following how Reichard and Romo look in comparison to each other. That said, the Vikings used a draft pick on Reichard, and thus, he likely will be given the inside track on making the team.

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