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Justin Jefferson: Wide receiver signs biggest non-quarterback contract in NFL history with Minnesota Vikings

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Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson has signed the highest-paid non-quarterback contract in NFL history, sealing a four-year $140m extension which includes $110m guaranteed. 

The 24-year-old previously turned down a deal which would have paid him over $28m annually the day before the 2023 season started.

Jefferson announced the news himself on social media, quelling any Minnesota worries by confirming he finally signed "the deal I have been waiting for since I was a little kid." The Vikings confirmed the news soon after.

"Something that once was a dream is now my reality. There are so many people that I can sit here and thank but you all know who you are that helped me along the way. But we ain't stopping here…There's more to be done," Jefferson tweeted.

Since being selected by the Vikings with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 draft, Jefferson has 392 receptions for 5,899 yards and 30 touchdowns.

The 2022 Offensive Player of the Year, Jefferson has averaged 98.3 receiving yards per game - the most in NFL history for any career span - and his average of 6.5 catches per game is the second highest of any receiver in his first four seasons.

In a video posted to Instagram, Jefferson added: "The time has finally come. The deal I've been waiting for since I was a little kid. Being doubted my whole career. Not being highly recruited. Not being the first receiver off the draft board. This whole journey wasn't easy for me. To be given a gift to play football at the highest level, it's a blessing. It's an honour."

The extension's average annual value of $35m per season is $1m more than the previous record for a non-QB set by pass rusher Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers.

The $110m in guaranteed money eclipses the $84m the Philadelphia Eagles gave A.J. Brown earlier this offseason as the most in NFL history for a wide receiver.

Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf said Jefferson, who turns 25 on June 16, had earned the big payday "and we are thrilled he will remain a Minnesota Viking for a very long time."

"From the moment I arrived in Minnesota, Justin has consistently proven to be one of the best players in the NFL on and off the field and we are excited about having him as a cornerstone of our team for a long time to come."

Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah added. "He is the living embodiment of our culture with his joyful dedication to process and our goals. We couldn't be more excited for Justin and his family."

After leading the NFL in receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809) in 2022, Jefferson reached the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth straight season in 2023 despite missing seven games due to injuries.

"Justin is an exceptionally talented player and an incredible person that I am honoured to coach and have as a team captain," Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell said in a statement.

"His positive energy and love for the game shows up every single day as he works to be the best at his craft. As coaches, we will do our part in helping him maximize his ability. I'm grateful to the Wilfs, Kwesi, Rob Brzezinski, and our staff for ensuring one of the brightest stars in professional sports will continue his career as a Minnesota Viking."

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