End of an Era: Vikings 4-Star LB rejects contract Extension after committing to rival move…

The Minnesota Vikings made history by offering Kirk Cousins the league’s first fully guaranteed contract in 2018, yet they appear unwilling to make a similar gesture for Justin Jefferson.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, appearing on KFAN with Vikings announcer Paul Allen, credited Jefferson for his patience in his ongoing extension talks with the team.

However, Florio, who spent time with Jefferson before and after his interview with the Vikings star during Super Bowl week, raised a red flag over the negotiations. He said the Vikings are testing Jefferson’s patience with their unwillingness to give him more guarantees in his next contract

They are playing with fire here on multiple fronts between Justin Jefferson, whose patience is eventually going to run out,” Florio said. “I can confidently say that J.J. is very patient, but his patience will have its limits, and the problem continues to be, not the dollars, but the structure.

“The Vikings are one of the few teams that will not fully guarantee beyond the first year of the contract for anyone other than Kirk Cousins. If you’re not going to make that same exception for Justin Jefferson, you are going to have a problem with Justin Jefferson eventually,” Florio added.

Florio went on to state that the Vikings’ policy on guarantees comes from the top down. He urged ownership to reconsider.

“It’s not the dollars, it’s the structure. Fans need to hold ownership accountable. These are policies set by the Wilfs. They don’t want to guarantee in-full money beyond the first year on that deal for anything other than the quarterback position,” Florio said. “You need to make the exception.”

Jefferson has a chance to become the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league, but securing a deal with the most guarantees by a non-quarterback may be a higher priority than the advertised amount of the deal.

Meanwhile, Cousins has struck three fully guaranteed contracts in six years in Minnesota and is looking to do the same this offseason — be it with the Vikings with another team.

But what may be more important to getting a deal done in ink is an understanding of who will be throwing Jefferson the ball in the short- and long-term future.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on February 11 that Jefferson “is a Cousins fan and will want to know the quarterback plan before signing on for the long haul.”

While Jefferson has touted his support of the Vikings’ bringing Cousins back, it’s not a dealbreaker for him to re-sign with the Vikings.

“It could be Kirk, it could not be Kirk,” Jefferson said during Super Bowl week, NFL.com. “I have no idea, but it doesn’t matter who’s going to be throwing me that ball, you know I’m going to be that same type of player.”

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