The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the January 16th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to [email protected]
Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.
Questions Answered: A New Jefferson Contract, Draft Time, New Off-Ball LBs
A: When will Justin Jefferson sign a new contract, and for how much?
A: That’ll happen this offseason — with the Vikings — and probably fetch between $30 million and $35 million per season.
Jefferson, thankfully, got a small taste of playoff football in 2022, albeit bittersweet. Jefferson told reporters on Monday, “I will be wherever I’m wanted. If they want me here, I’m here.”
Minnesota will definitely want Jefferson, so expect Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to wrap him up for the next seven [total] seasons this offseason. Jefferson has two years left on his rookie contract and will likely sign a four or five-year deal.
Q: After the playoff game, what position do you expect the Vikings to target in Round 1 of the draft?
A: Specifically after that playoff game, the Vikings should probably take the best defensive player available. It doesn’t really matter what position — just find the best defensive ball player on that side of the ball.
The Vikings lost to the Giants because they could stifle Daniel Jones — at all — and New York simply marched up and down the field. The offense actually played quite well, but no one cares because we live in an offense-oriented era of football where folks perceive the sport like pinball.
A normal defense would’ve created a Vikings win on Sunday, so the team should focus defensively with the 23rd overall pick.
But we still think Adofo-Mensah will trade the 23rd pick to claw back the 2nd-Rounder spent on T.J. Hockenson.
Q: Do you think it’s guaranteed that Minnesota will have two new off-ball linebackers in 2023?
A: Close to a guarantee, yes.
Brian Asamoah could start in the middle of the field, and a new guy could be on the way via free agency or the draft. Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks are decent football players, but they’re not a fast tandem together. And the Vikings very vividly need speed on defense.
Expect a lot of defensive personnel changes.
In the last draft, five of the first six picks were used on defense, and it wouldn’t be totally mind-boggling to see the same thing in 2023.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).