MINNEAPOLIS — Cooper Kupp is the latest big name NFL receiver to get paid big this offseason.
So far we've seen Tyreek Hill set the market high at $30 million per year with his new deal in Miami. Davante Adams will make $28 million per year after the trade to the Raiders. And AJ Brown will make $25 million per year after his trade to the Eagles this offseason.
Kupp's deal came in at $26.1 million per year. A deal some may call team-friendly, given the fact that Kupp led all receivers in yards and touchdowns by a wide margin last season but earn the fourth-highest per year salary among NFL wide outs.
After his third season ends this upcoming year, Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson may be looking for a new deal of his own.
That had Ron Johnson and Sam Ekstrom talking about what they may look like on Thursday's Ron Johnson Show, part of Locked On Sports Minnesota.
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Ron Johnson said on the show if the Vikings need to pay Justin Jefferson, with the way the new offensive scheme shakes out, it could mean letting Dalvin Cook go. While the Vikings have been a run first team in the past, Kevin O'Connell will likely change that.
"Even though he's dynamic, you can't afford to pay a guy that you're not giving the ball to 30 to 35 times a game," Johnson said. "It just doesn't work that way. You can have Alexander Mattison get the ball 15 to 20 times a game."
Johnson said if the Vikings have to decide between them, they're going to pay Jefferson and find another home for Cook.
“I can guarantee the product that you’re going to get with Justin Jefferson," Johnson said. "I don’t know what you’re going to get with Dalvin Cook in this offense…They’re going to start off throwing the ball. This is going to be the Kirk Cousins show, this is going to be the Justin Jefferson show. That’s what this offense is going to be about.”
When talking about what type of contract Jefferson is going to be worth, say a year from now if they start negotiating, Johnson said he hopes that Jefferson would accept something "team friendly" enough to not cut out other possibilities. Like Cooper Kupp just did with the Rams.
But producer Sam Ekstrom said he just doesn’t see that happening.
“I would be surprised if there’s anything team friendly about this Jefferson deal," Ekstrom said. "I think he’s a market-setting talent.”
Below are the top annual value contract receivers in the NFL
1. Tyreek Hill, MIA, $30 million per year
2. Davante Adams, LV, $28 million per year
3. Deandre Hopkins, ARI, $27.2 million per year
4. Cooper Kupp, LAR, $26.1 million per year
5. AJ Brown, PHI, $25 million per year
Ekstrom said AJ Brown is the key here, because he is the only one of those five who is signing that deal at under the age of 25. AJ Brown is signing his contract at about the age that Justin Jefferson will be. He turns 23 next week and next year, hwen he might be lobbying for this new deal, he’ll be about 24.
Ekstrom compared the stats between Brown and Jefferson in their first seasons.
2019 (16 games): 52 receptions, 1,051 yards, 8 TD
2020 (14 games): 70 receptions, 1,075 yards, 11 TD
2021 (13 games): 63 receptions, 869 yards, 5 TD
2020 (16 games): 88 receptions, 1,400 yards, 7 TD
2021 (17 games): 108 receptions, 1,616 yards, 10 TD
“He’s much more productive than AJ Brown, he’s much healthier than AJ Brown," Ekstrom said. "And AJ Brown signed $25 million per year. Justin Jefferson is going to I think pass Tyreke Hill’s number, which is $30 million. I think Jefferson sets the market if he has another year even close to the previous two.”
Find the full conversation on today's Ron Johnson Show on YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts!