Bleacher Report recently proposed a truly unthinkable trade involving, arguably, the best WR in the NFL in Justin Jefferson. Would this ever happen? I guess when you look at all the major players that have been traded or signed with new teams recently, it's not totally out of the question. I do think, like any NFL offseason, we will certainly see several huge moves that not a lot of us saw coming.
Well, would a Justin Jefferson trade be realistic? Here is what Bleacher Repor5 had to say about this idea:
"The idea of trading the consensus best receiver in the league just as he's entering his prime may seem inconceivable, but a longtime Minnesota Vikings beat writer believes the franchise could give serious credence to dealing Justin Jefferson this offseason.- Alex Kay
According to the Pioneer Press' Charley Walters, a "full-scale rebuild" could occur in the Twin Cities this offseason. Walters noted that it wouldn't make sense for Minnesota to give Jefferson an extension estimated to be worth around $30 million annually if the team is expecting to endure some lean years over the majority of the contract's duration."
I guess the Vikings could embrace a full rebuild. They exploded onto the scene in 2022 by going 13-4 in the regular season, but they had a negative point differential and got bounced out of the playoffs in their first game. The Vikings went 7-10 this year, losing four in a row to end it, but a Kirk Cousins Achilles injury really ended their season when he went down.
When you look at the team, they do not have a viable long-term QB on the roster. There are also some other concerns as well in the secondary and up front. The team is going to have to move on from Harrison Smith at some point. Danielle Hunter is a free agent, so perhaps a rebuild makes sense. B/R proposed a Justin Jefferson trade, and they sent him to the Arizona Cardinals for the fourth overall pick in 2024, a 2025 first-rounder, and and 2024 third-rounder.
I do think two firsts is the starting point for Jefferson, who managed to hit the 1,000-yard mark this year in just 10 games. He's got nearly 6,000 receiving yards through his first four seasons and is in line to sign a mega contract extension this offseason. Given that the Vikings do need to find a long-term QB and have other roster holes, Jefferson's value to the team might be in a trade.
Getting another first-round pick this year, especially a top-five selection, is just what Minnesota needs. Plus, they'd have two first-round picks in 2025 as well, which is plenty ammo to not only land a franchise QB, but multiple other blue-chip prospects. Justin Jefferson is set to enter his age-25 season, so he is still plenty young.
On the flip side, the Arizona Cardinals would get an insanely talented player in Jefferson and a true building block for years to come. Since the Cardinals do currently have the No. 4 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, they do have a legitimate shot to draft Marvin Harrison Jr. I guess if you're the Cardinals, and a potential trade for Justin Jefferson is on the table, you have to ask yourself if Jefferson is going to work out better in the long-term over drafting Marvin Harrison Jr, who is still an unknown at this point.
Would you make this trade if you were the Minnesota Vikings?