NFL Trade Rumors: Will Justin Jefferson leave Vikings after Kirk Cousins exit?

Justin Jefferson entered the NFL as a first-round pick in 2020 for the Minnesota Vikings. The wide receiver wasted no time making an impact, breaking records and garnering accolades in his rookie season. He has been one of the NFL’s best wide receivers with his ability to make incredible catches.

Jefferson’s 2023 season witnessed a major setback as he suffered a hamstring injury in Week 5, sidelining him for seven games. He also had to play a significant amount of time with the Vikings’ backup quarterbacks after Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles. With Cousins leaving the team permanently, questions arise about Jefferson’s future with the franchise.

Vikings reportedly have ‘no plan’ to trade Justin Jefferson

The Vikings are making it clear that Justin Jefferson is not on the trading block. Despite speculation arising from Kirk Cousins heading to the Atlanta Falcons, the team remains steadfast in its commitment to Jefferson.

Reports from The Athletic’s Dianna Russini and Alec Lewis indicate that the Vikings have “no plans to trade” the wide receiver. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has vehemently rejected any notion of trading him. Adofo-Mensah’s sentiments echo his previous statements made at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he mentioned the team’s desire to retain Jefferson. He referred to the footballer as a “blue player” both on and off the field.

The young star entered the final year of his rookie contract, and the Vikings exercised their fifth-year option on him, indicating their long-term intentions. Negotiations for a contract extension last offseason fell through, but both sides were close to reaching an agreement. With talks of a potential deal exceeding $30 million annually, he is now poised to become one of the highest-paid wide receivers in the league.

The 2023 season showcased Jefferson’s exceptional talent, as he surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in just 10 games. He set a new NFL record for receiving yards per game (98.3). The receiver also amassed 68 receptions for 1,074 yards along with five touchdowns.

Why did Vikings release Kirk Cousins?

Kirk Cousins left the Vikings and signed a massive four-year, $180 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday. According to Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, the decision stemmed from the inability to align on a contract that satisfied both parties’ short- and long-term goals. Both parties could not reach a mutual agreement, leading to Cousins’ departure.

Meanwhile, Cousins highlighted “commitment” as a key factor in his move. He addressed a desire for stability, expressing confidence in the Falcons’ willingness to offer a path to retiring with the team.

“I think in Minnesota, it was trending over the last couple offseasons to being somewhat year-to-year. As we talked with Atlanta, it felt like this was a place where, if I play at the level I expect to play, that I can retire a Falcon. That was something that really excited me and that’s certainly the goal. You’ve got to earn the right to do that, but that was exciting to feel like I could get that opportunity here,” Cousins said per Bleacher Report.

Kirk Cousins
via YardBarker

Cousins consistently delivered impressive statistics during his six-year stint with the Vikings. He averaged nearly 3,900 yards, 28.5 touchdowns, along with 9.2 interceptions per season.

The signal-caller’s departure leaves a significant void in the Vikings’ lineup. With Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall as the only remaining quarterbacks on the roster, the Vikings moved swiftly to address the gap by securing a one-year deal with Sam Darnold of the San Francisco 49ers.


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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.


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