Vikings start OTAs without Justin Jefferson

The Minnesota Vikings start organized team activities this week at TCO Performance Center, and one player we’re unlikely to see is star receiver Justin Jefferson.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Jefferson was not at the facility Monday as the team gathered for workouts. There is no reason to panic about Jefferson’s absence, at least not yet. He’s in the final year of his rookie contract, and discussions to get him signed to a long-term deal with Minnesota have been ongoing for several months. Jefferson and the Vikings nearly reached a deal, according to Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, before Week 1 last season.

These workouts are not mandatory, and Jefferson did not attend any of the voluntary sessions last year. The time frame to watch is early June, when the Vikings come together for mandatory mini camp. Players are subject to fines if they don’t participate.

Last year, Jefferson attended the mandatory camp, and reported on time for training camp without a new contract. The Vikings are making getting Jefferson a new contract a top priority. He’s due to make more than $19 million this season.

Despite missing seven games with a hamstring injury last season, Jefferson still had 68 catches for 1,074 yards and five touchdowns. In 60 career games with the Vikings, Jefferson has 392 catches for 5,899 yards and 30 touchdowns. He was a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2022.