Vikings star Justin Jefferson not worried about contract at training camp

Minnesota Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson said during mandatory mini camp in June that he would report to training camp despite still playing on his rookie contract.

He has fulfilled that promise. Jefferson reported to TCO Performance Center along with other veterans on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he sprinted out of the locker room in Eagan and was ready to go on a hot summer afternoon with temperatures in the mid-90s.

"It’s definitely good to come back, to be with the full team, to run plays and to be fully active. It’s a long season and a long journey, and it starts here. It’s good to come out here and execute some plays, and start fresh," Jefferson said after Wednesday’s practice.


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Jefferson led the NFL with 125 catches for 1,809 yards last season. He also had eight touchdowns. The Vikings drafted him No. 22 overall in 2020, and he’s been one of the best receivers in the league since. He signed a four-year, $13 million deal as a rookie, and is due to become one of the highest-paid non-quarterbacks in the NFL.

General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said this offseason signing Jefferson to an extension is a top priority. Before training camp started, he said conversations are ongoing. Jefferson isn’t worried about it, at least for now.

He’s due to make north of $30 million per season, when that time comes.

"I mean that’s not the worries that I have right now. It’s really all about winning the Super Bowl, just getting the wins and being with my team. The contract is going to play itself, and I’m just out here to play football," Jefferson said.

He’s also now the veteran and the mentor for rookie Jordan Addison, like Adam Thielen was for him three seasons ago.

"We’re with him every step of the way. Just like when I came in, Adam was that person for me that took me under his wing, showed me the ropes and taught me how to be a professional," Jefferson said. "That’s that role that I’m playing with him. Anything that he needs, I’m there for him."

In three seasons with Kirk Cousins, Jefferson has 324 catches for 4,825 yards and 25 touchdowns. When asked earlier this summer to name his top-five quarterbacks, Cousins was not among them. He joked about that after practice.

"Kirk knows what I think about him. He knows the connection that we have together. We talk about things all the time with our lockers being together, but he already knows that I expect him to be the best quarterback, especially this year," Jefferson said.

The only notable absence from Wednesday’s first practice was Danielle Hunter, who won’t likely be on the field until his contract situation is resolved. The highlights of the afternoon included Cam Bynum having a diving pass break-up on a Cousins pass headed for Jefferson. Cousins later hit K.J. Osborn on a long pass up the middle, and Jalen Nailor made plays after a strong mini camp.