Vikings exercise 5th year option on WR Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings reacts after a play against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  ((Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images))

While we wait on the edge of our seats to see what the Minnesota Vikings do in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night, the team made a move with its top wide receiver on Tuesday.

The Vikings, to the surprise of nobody, are exercising the fifth-year contract option on Justin Jefferson. He led the NFL last year with 125 catches and 1,809 yards, while trying to chase Calvin Johnson’s single-season record of 1,864. Jefferson also had eight touchdowns last season.

He’s earned Pro Bowl honors in each of his first two seasons, and was selected First Team All-Pro in 2022. Jefferson will make $2.4 million in base salary this season, and is set to make more than $19 million in 2024.

That’s if the star wideout and the Vikings don’t workout a long-term contract extension first, which is one of their top priorities this offseason.

The Vikings took Jefferson with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, with the first round pick they get in exchange for sending Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills. Arguably the best catch in his career came last season on a 4th-and-18 play late in regulation with the game on the line, which led to a Vikings’ victory in overtime.

Jefferson had 88 catches for 1,400 yards as a rookie, then had 108 catches for more than 1,600 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2021.