Massive rumor indicates Justin Jefferson could very much be on the trade block

The Vikings continue to be weird with their approach to Justin Jefferson
Justin Jefferson
Justin Jefferson / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages

So long as Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson doesn't have a new contract, there are going to be rumors swirling about the potential that he could be traded. The formula for the Minnesota Vikings keeping Jefferson around is pretty simple. The team itself has labeled him one of the best non-quarterbacks in the NFL, meaning Jefferson's next contract -- in their eyes -- is not going to be determined by the wide receiver market but the non-QB market.

The highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL in average annual salary is 49ers pass rusher Nick Bosa at $34 million. Close behind him is Eagles wide receiver AJ Brown at $32 million annually. The precedence is there for Jefferson to at least jump ahead of Brown at $33 million and the price is only increasing by the day. The Vikings know the price. The market has been set.

Yet they haven't done anything yet.

Now, a rumor has surfaced that the Vikings potentially tried to trade up in the 2024 NFL Draft for LSU star receiver Malik Nabers, and they were poised to potentially trade Jefferson if they had pulled it off.

Take the rumor -- which originated from the St. Paul Pioneer-Press -- with a bit of a grain of salt. That's not to say it's not valid, but obviously the Vikings didn't pull these blockbuster moves off. This kind of situation would have sent shockwaves through the entire NFL Draft in April.

The Vikings aren't just going to trade Jefferson just to trade him, but his contract situation presents them with an interesting dilemma. Jefferson is one of the best players -- if not the best -- at his position in the NFL. His value will never be higher. There are teams out there that would trade a premium to get him as well as pay him what he wants right now.

There's absolutely no reason why the Vikings can't come to a contractual agreement with Jefferson if they truly believe what they have said in the past, which is that he's one of the top non-quarterbacks in the NFL. They've simplified the formula, and there's really no reason why a deal hasn't gotten done yet from the team's perspective.

So what's going on? Are the Vikings planning on keeping Jefferson on the trade block at this point? It really feels like Jefferson is going to be available until he puts pen to paper with Minnesota. And if that's the case, this summer could get very intriguing for a number of cap-rich teams looking to acquire one of the best players in the game.

More likely, the Vikings will tag Jefferson next offseason and play the game again next year, but don't be surprised if this starts to get ugly the longer he doesn't have a deal.