3 min read

Justin Jefferson Becomes NFL's Highest-Paid Receiver with Historic $140M Extension

Dec 31, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a pass against the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings and All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson agreed to a historic four-year contract extension worth $140 million, with $110 million in total guarantees and $88.743 million fully guaranteed at signing on Monday.

The deal makes Jefferson the highest-paid receiver in NFL history and the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL, surpassing Nick Bosa’s $34 million per year. Exceeding Bosa’s number was a point of emphasis for Jefferson and his camp.

The fifth receiver taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, Jefferson has totaled 392 receptions for 5,899 yards and 30 touchdowns through four seasons. He is one of five players to have 5,000-plus receiving yards in his first four seasons, and his 98.3 receiving yards per game is the most in NFL history (minimum of 50 games).

The Vikings and Jefferson had been working on an extension for more than a year. The two sides came close to an agreement before the start of last season but fell short and tabled talks until the offseason. 

Jefferson aimed to exceed the $30 million per season that Tyreek Hill received in Miami, but Minnesota’s final offer fell short of that. When considering the deal's details, Minnesota viewed Hill’s contract as effectively being $25 million per year.

Jefferson, a three-time Pro Bowler, became the youngest player in NFL history to lead the league in receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809) in a season when he was 23 in 2022. He was named Offensive Player of the Year that season.

Despite some speculation, the Vikings never considered trading Jefferson this offseason, even with a quarterback transition. Minnesota allowed Kirk Cousins to leave in free agency and will go into this season with Sam Darnold and J.J. McCarthy, whom they drafted at No. 10 overall in April. 

The New England Patriots were one of the teams that gave Minnesota a call on a potential trade for Jefferson after they failed to land Calvin Ridley in free agency. The talks never went anywhere, and Minnesota remained focused on getting a contract extension done.

"The time has finally come — the deal I've been waiting for since I was a little kid," Jefferson said in a message he posted to his Instagram.

Minnesota has three core offensive weapons — Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson — under contract through at least 2026.

Jefferson is the latest receiver to sign a lucrative extension this offseason, joining A.J. Brown, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Nico Collins. 

CeeDee Lamb, Ja’Marr Chase, Brandon Aiyuk, and Amari Cooper are still waiting.