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The inevitable has finally occurred: The Minnesota Vikings have made Justin Jefferson the highest average paid non-QB in NFL history this spring, signing their WR1 to an historic 4 year, $140M extension through the 2028 season. We’ll dive into all of the details here.

Contract Rankings

This won’t surprise you, but everything about Justin Jefferson’s next contract with Minnesota is a game changer.

  • Average Salary: $35M (1st)
  • New Money Value: $140M (T1, Davante Adams)
  • Total Guarantee: $110M (1st)
  • Guarantee at Sign: $88.7M (1st)
  • Signing Bonus: $36.9M (1st)
  • Year 1 Cash: $38M (1st)
  • 2-Year Cash: $69.9M (1st)
  • 3-Year Cash: $95.7M (1st)

Related: Current WR Contract Rankings

Total Value Numbers

Justin Jefferson’s 4 year, $140 million contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings represents a lot of “firsts and mosts” across the non-QB landscape. In full, this becomes a 5 year, $159,753,000 contract through the 2028 season, accounting for a total value average salary just shy of $32M per year.

Average Annual Salary

Jefferson’s $35M average salary easily surpasses all Wide Receiver values, but it also represents the largest non-QB AAV in NFL history.

Top Non-QB Average Salaries All-Time
1. Justin Jefferson, $35M
2. Nick Bosa, $34M
3. A.J. Brown, $32M

Top WR Average Salaries All-Time
1. Justin Jefferson, $35M
2. A.J. Brown, $32M
3. Amon-Ra St. Brown, $30.002M

In terms of percentages, Jefferson’s $35M AAV represents 13.7% of the current league salary cap ($255.4M), which actually ranks 4th among active non-quarterback contracts.

1. T.J. Watt, 15.34%
2. Nick Bosa, 15.12%
3. Tyreek Hill, 14.4%
4. Justin Jefferson, 13.7%


The full guarantees at signing within this contract surmise to $88.743M, which includes the near $37M signing bonus, minimum base salaries this and next season, a $30M option bonus for 2025, and nearly $19M of his 2026 compensation.

Furthermore, another $7M of 2026 salary becomes fully guaranteed next March, and an additional $14.25M of 2027 salary fully guarantees in March of 2026. All of this compensation is guaranteed for injury at the time of signing, and because of the year-early vesting nature, is considered practically guaranteed.

This amounts to a practical guarantee of $110M, and a practical contract value of $125.7M over the next 4 seasons.

Signing Bonus

Jefferson’s $36.9M signing bonus is the largest a Wide Receiver has ever received, easily surpassing D.K. Metcalf’s $30M bonus from the Seahawks back in 2022.

Largest Non-QB Signing Bonuses
1. Nick Bosa, $50M
2. Aaron Donald, $40M
3. Justin Jefferson, $36.9M

Cash Flow

Jefferson’s new contract breaks down like this from a cash standpoint:
Year 1: $38.063M
Year 2: $31.93M
Year 3: $25.75M
Year 4: $30.01M
Year 5: $34M

The 1-Year ($38M), 2-Year ($69.9M) & 3-Year ($95.7M) cash flow are by far the most in WR contract history.

2-Year WR Cash Rankings
1. Justin Jefferson, $69.9M
2. Tyreek Hill, $53.2M
3. A.J. Brown, $51M

3-Year WR Cash Rankings
1. Justin Jefferson, $95.7M
2. A.J. Brown, $80M
3. Tyreek Hill, $73M

The Vikings intelligently front-loaded a big portion of this contract to account for the value they’re getting out of a few notable rookie contracts around the starting lineup.

Cap Hit Flow

The double bonus structure (large signing bonus, large 2nd-year option bonus) always leads to early salary cap value, and this contract is no different.

2024: $8,512,600
2025: $15,317,600
2026: $39,137,600
2027: $43,397,600
2028: $47,387,600
2029: $6,000,000 (voidable dead cap)

With a league salary cap certain to be approaching $300M by 2026, the first three years could reasonably be left untouched, and there’s a very realistic possibility that Minnesota gets through all 4 practical seasons of this contract without ever having to process a cap-conversion. However, aggressive roster building and a potential contract extension for QB J.J. McCarthy after the 2026 season could force their hand.

Jefferson’s previous 5th-year option salary for 2024 came with a $19.743M cash & cap hit, so the extension represents a savings of over $11.2M this season. The Vikings now carry around $27.5M of Top 51 cap space into June.

Timing, Age, & a Likely Outcome

Jefferson doesn’t just have the J.J. McCarthy’s rookie contract value on his side - he also had the benefit of signing a rookie contract at the age of 21. This means, his 4 year extension (5 year total contract) will only carry him through age 29 - and that’s assuming that he plays it out in its entirety.

The most likely outcome here (assuming everything goes as planned for the organization), is that McCarthy is talented enough to warrant a contract extension after 2026 (his first year of eligibility), requiring a huge guarantee at sign escrow dump from ownership, then Jefferson extends out of this new contract after 2027, with 1 year, $34M remaining. McCarthy will be entering his age 24 season, while Jefferson will be entering his age 29 campaign.

Who’s Next?

The Dallas Cowboys continual plan to wait out their players in hopes of a team-friendly “Because we’re the Cowboys” contract have bit them once again. CeeDee Lamb’s production over the past two seasons not only matches Jeffersons, but he’s proven to be able to stay healthy over that period of time as well. There’s a very real world where Lamb meets Jefferson’s $35M per year marker, coming in slightly lower in terms of overall and upfront guarantees. Lamb projects toward a 4 year, $136M extension in our system currently.

The same sentiment can be made for Ja’Marr Chase in Cincinnati who, alongside teammate Tee Higgins, is working to negotiate his own blockbuster extension to remain as Joe Burrow’s number one option going forward. Jefferson’s numbers are the new ceiling for Chase, and anything at or close those marks should be considered fair game. Chase projects toward a 3 year, $92M extension in our system currently.

However, if Cincinnati and Dallas decide to wait until the 2025 offseason to try to lock up their WR1s, Jefferson’s contract should then be considered a floor. Another year of league revenue, another year closer to free agency, and a brand new league salary cap figure to work off of should change the negotiation barometer for these two players.