He Declined a Deal Last Year. It Just Paid Off

Receiver Justin Jefferson signs $140M deal with Vikings, making him highest-paid non-QB ever
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2024 11:13 AM CDT
He's the Highest-Paid Non-QB in History
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson.   (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

Justin Jefferson is an NFL wide receiver who's now making star-quarterback money. The 24-year-old just signed a four-year deal to stay with the Minnesota Vikings for $140 million, making him the highest-paid nonquarterback in league history, reports NFL.com. As ESPN notes, Jefferson declined a lucrative contract renewal at the start of last season that would have paid him $28 million a year. He instead "bet on himself," writes Adam Schefter, and the bet just paid off with an even more lucrative contract.

Jefferson's numbers have been off the charts—he's one of only five players ever to amass at least 5,000 receiving yards in his first four seasons, per NFL.com. And at the moment, he averages an astonishing 98.3 yards per game. It's "the deal I've been waiting for since I was a little kid," Jefferson said in an Instagram video. "Being doubted my whole career. Not being highly recruited. Not being the first receiver off the draft board." Jefferson was picked 22nd overall in the 2020 draft, and ESPN calls attention to a video that went viral at the time of Vikings personnel laughing at their good luck when Jefferson, to their astonishment, wasn't picked No. 21. (More Minnesota Vikings stories.)

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