Justin Jefferson not at start of Vikings offseason workout program

The Minnesota Vikings started their offseason workout program on Monday at TCO Performance Center, and one of the players not in attendance was star receiver Justin Jefferson.

That should be a surprise to nobody. Jefferson didn’t attend any of the Vikings’ offseason workouts last year that were not mandatory. He did participate in the team’s mandatory minicamp, and showed up on time for training camp. Despite missing seven games with a hamstring injury last season, Jefferson still managed 68 catches for 1,074 yards and five touchdowns.

Jefferson is entering the final year of his current contract, and is due more than $19 million this season. The Vikings and Jefferson and trying to find a road to a multi-year contract that would make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL. They were close to a deal before Week 1 last season, but couldn’t get to the finish line.

Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell on Monday didn’t appear to be overly concerned by Jefferson’s absence.

"I don’t. I’m really not anticipating whether, taking it a day at a time, I know I’ve had a lot of great dialogue with Justin. My hope is we can get him around the team," O’Connell said. "We want him here as much as we can have him, but also understand there’s a lot of factors involved. It remains to be seen what the rest of the program looks like."


The NFL Draft is in less than two weeks, and the Vikings have a pair of first round picks at Nos. 11 and 23. The popular thought is they’ll package the two, and maybe add assets, to move up into the top-five of the first round to get what they hope is a future franchise quarterback.

The consensus is that Caleb Williams goes to the Chicago Bears No. 1 overall. The Vikings have had private workouts or meetings with Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, Jayden Daniels, Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said last week the Vikings are "in love" with multiple quarterbacks.

O’Connell talked Monday about the quarterback class and what it could mean for the Vikings.

"That’s what this process has really allowed me to do, form some relationships with the guys, spend some time outside of this building visiting them and getting them on the grass and see how they respond to my coaching style. It’s been a really enjoyable one, every single time you get a chance to be around some of these guys, you get excited about possibilities and potential," O’Connell said. "But it is the draft, and we’re not the only team that may want to select one of these guys. We’re working through making sure we know the landscape of the whole class."