Justin Jefferson wants to know Vikings QB situation before signing contract

Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates a first down catch against the Chicago Bears in the first quarter of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Bears 29-22. (David Berding / Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings have several roster decisions to make before the 2024 season, and perhaps none bigger than with two of their top offensive players.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins is set to enter free agency in less than a month, unless the Vikings can bring him back on a new contract. Justin Jefferson is in the final year of his rookie contract, and is due to make massive money whenever his next deal comes. But will it be with Minnesota, and does it hinge on if Cousins is back?

According to NFL Media on Tuesday, Jefferson wants to know the Vikings’ long-term plans at quarterback before he signs a new deal. This should come as a surprise to no one. That also doesn’t mean he’ll have say on if Cousins comes back, or if the Vikings pursue a quarterback in the NFL Draft.

Jefferson made it clear throughout last season he wants Cousins as his quarterback. The star receiver has been in Minnesota four seasons, and has caught a majority of receptions from Cousins. Despite missing seven games with a hamstring injury this season, Jefferson had 68 catches for 1,074 yards and five touchdowns. Two years ago with the help of Cousins, Jefferson was a First-Team All-Pro pick and nearly set the single-season record for receiving yards. He also led the NFL with 128 catches.

It's also not Jefferson’s call on what Cousins’ future holds. Jefferson is due more than $19 million in 2024, and it’s in the Vikings’ best interest to sign him to a long-term contract for multiple reasons – To keep him Vikings’ purple, and provide some salary cap relief.

Cousins has been with the Vikings for six seasons, and he wants to be back. Minnesota wants him back, but Kwesi Adofo-Mensah wants a deal that works for both sides. Cousins likely wants at least two years fully-guaranteed, starting around $40 million. Adofo-Mensah also has to plan for who his replacement is.

Cousins was leading the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns when he went down Week 8 with a torn Achilles at Green Bay. The Vikings and Cousins nearly had a new deal done before last season, and we’ll see if something happens before free agency.

If it doesn’t and he leaves, then we can maybe start to get nervous about Jefferson. But remember, he’s under contract for the 2024 season, and the Vikings could place a franchise tag on him. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, Jefferson gets his pay day and the Vikings keep him long-term.

For now, it’s about three more weeks of sitting on our thumbs and waiting.