The Minnesota Vikings are in a problematic place for the 2023 season. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was involved in trade discussions all season, but he may have answered them for the franchise with a likely season-ending Achilles injury. Minnesota has to determine if they want to stick with backup quarterback Jaren Hall, but if they decide to embrace the rebuild, they could explore a drastic idea.
Should the Vikings trade away star wide receiver Justin Jefferson?
Justin Jefferson is currently on injured reserve, and if he is moved, he will still have to miss the four-game minimum from when he first was declared for IR. Jefferson has yet to be extended by the franchise, and they have only picked up his fifth-year option. This does make his base salary jump from $2.39 million this year to $19.74 million next year.
Jefferson is among the best wide receivers in the league. Last season, he had 1,809 yards and eight touchdowns on 128 receptions. Before Jefferson’s hamstring injury, he had 36 receptions for 571 yards and three touchdowns.
It sounds outlandish to suggest that they could trade him, but if they aren’t thrilled about the mega contract he will get, this is the time to move him. The team is 4-4 and will likely use a fifth-round rookie the rest of the season.
Jefferson’s trade value is sky-high, even with the cap hit next season and his current injury. If the Vikings look at the state of their franchise and how the rest of the season is shaping up, they could set some things in motion to begin rebuilding. It would be an extremely tough sell for fans, especially since Jefferson must be moved by Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, but it could pay long-term benefits.
They must explore the idea of trading Jefferson following this injury to Cousins. I don’t think they will do it because it will be a PR nightmare for the rest of the season, but Jordan Addison has looked solid filling in for Jefferson. If they are going to make this move, it should be now.