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The Minnesota Vikings are closing in on a massive deal for Young Star

The Minnesota Vikings and star wide receiver Justin Jefferson have agreed to terms on a four-year, $140 million contract extension that includes $110 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN. The deal makes him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history.

The deal, which was negotiated by WME Football, includes $88.743 million due at signing. The Vikings announced Monday morning that Jefferson has agreed to an extension that runs through the 2028 season, but did not disclose financial terms.

“It’s finally here. The deal I’ve been waiting for since I was little,” Jefferson said in a video posted to Instagram. “To be doubted my whole career. To not be highly drafted. To not be the first pick in the draft. This whole journey has not been easy for me … To be given a gift to play football at the highest level , it’s a blessing.

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Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf said in a statement that Jefferson “earned this contract and we are excited that he will remain a Minnesota Viking for a very long time.”

“Since arriving in Minnesota, Justin has consistently proven to be one of the best players in the NFL on and off the field, and we are excited to have him as a cornerstone of our team for a long time.” from now on,” Vikings. said Managing Director Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. “He is the living embodiment of our culture, with his joyful dedication to the process and our goals. We couldn’t be more excited for Justin and his family.”

Jefferson also thanked his parents, siblings, his agent and Vikings front office staff, coaches and fans in the Instagram video.

“You set the tone. You set the mood. You set the energy,” Jefferson said in the video. “And I’m definitely excited to set the energy for another five years. … This is the beginning, but we’re not done yet. You just wait.”

A day before the start of the 2023 season, Jefferson turned down a contract offer from the Vikings that would have paid him more than $28 million annually. The three-time Pro Bowler gambled on himself instead, and the gamble paid off, with Jefferson’s four-year extension averaging $35 million per season. The annual average is $1 million more than the previous non-quarterback record for San Francisco 49ers Nick Bosa.

There have been several teams this offseason that have inquired about trading for Jefferson, according to league sources. But the Vikings let each of them know they had no intention of trading Jefferson, who has a historic four-year NFL start.

Adofo-Mensah said earlier this year at the NFL scouting combine that he never considered trading Jefferson — even if it would help him trade up for a quarterback in the draft.

“We think he’s the best wide receiver in the league and should be compensated as such,” Adofo-Mensah said at the time. “We think he’s one of the best non-balls in the league and we think he should be compensated as such.”

Since being selected by the Vikings with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 draft, Jefferson has 392 receptions for 5,899 yards and 30 touchdowns.

The 2022 Offensive Player of the Year, Jefferson averaged 98.3 receiving yards per game — the most in NFL history for any career stretch — and his 6.5 catches per game average is the second most among receivers in the first four seasons.

Jefferson, who turns 25 later this month, will now lead the Vikings in their next-generation offense after they traded quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​for free agent Sam Darnold and a first-round draft pick JJ McCarthy this offseason.

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Gallery credit: Scott Prather