Potential NFL Trade Packages for Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Amid 2024 OTAs (2024)

Potential NFL Trade Packages for Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Amid 2024 OTAs

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    Potential NFL Trade Packages for Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Amid 2024 OTAs (1)

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin JeffersonNic Antaya/Getty Images

    The NFL draft is known for generating plenty of rumors before it takes place, but some of the most interesting nuggets are the ones that get revealed after the draft.

    The need for secrecy causes a lot of teams to stay tight-lipped about their plans before the draft. Once the proceedings have taken place, a few stories always get leaked about how things could have gone.

    The alternate reality proposed in a recent article from Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press is a wild one.

    The writer posits that "there was buzz" that the Vikings wanted to move up from No. 11 to No. 5 in the draft to take Malik Nabers and they would have traded away Justin Jefferson if they were successful.

    Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk gave a small endorsem*nt of the rumor, noting that they "caught wind of something that ultimately couldn't be sufficiently confirmed to become an official PFT blurb."

    These rumors are certainly going to continue to stoke the flame of trade rumors and speculation around the star receiver. Until he puts pen to paper on a new contract extension that will likely reset the receiver market, teams should be calling the Vikings.

    Here are a few hypothetical packages teams should be throwing at Minnesota to get one of the game's best talents.

A Kirk Cousins Reunion with the Atlanta Falcons

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    Potential NFL Trade Packages for Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Amid 2024 OTAs (2)

    Kirk CousinsKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Minnesota Vikings Receive: WR Drake London, 2025 first-round pick, 2025 fourth-round pick

    Atlanta Falcons Receive: WR Justin Jefferson

    You know who has a lot of chemistry and a proven track record with Justin Jefferson? Kirk Cousins.

    The former Vikings quarterback has been the main man who has targeted Jefferson during the historic start to his career. It's been a mutually beneficial relationship too. Cousins had his best record as a starter (13-4) in the 2022 season when Jefferson was the Offensive Player of the Year with 128 receptions, 1,809 yards and eight touchdowns.

    The Falcons are pinning their hopes on Cousins being able to continue to produce in 2024. He'll be coming off an Achilles injury but walks into an offense in Atlanta that has good weapons. Drake London, Bijan Robinson and Kyle Pitts are all former top-10 picks at skill positions.

    London has yet to crack 1,000 yards in a season, though. He got to 905 with just two touchdowns last season. While the Falcons will hope he can break out in 2024, trading for Jefferson would be a guaranteed way to bring in an elite receiver.

    The fact that he already has an established rapport with Cousins would make him all the more tempting. London is good, but Jefferson is already everything they could hope he will become.

    From the Vikings' perspective, it makes sense to get at least one exciting player out of the trade. London could at least replace a percentage of Jefferson's production while still netting two draft picks in the haul.

The Cincinnati Bengals Become the Bayou Bengals

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    Potential NFL Trade Packages for Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Amid 2024 OTAs (3)

    Ja'Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson meet after a 2023 game.Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    Minnesota Vikings Receive: WR Tee Higgins, 2025 first-round pick, 2025 third-round pick

    Cincinnati Bengals Receive: WR Justin Jefferson

    The LSU trio of Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson was the engine behind one of college football's greatest offenses in 2019.

    If they were reunited, they would undoubtedly do the same to the league. The Bengals' battery of Burrow and Chase is already one of the best quarterback-wide receiver connections in the league when they are both healthy. Adding Jefferson to that mix would be unfair to defenses around the league.

    Of course, that's why the salary cap makes it incredibly difficult to devote that much money to a quarterback and two receivers. Both Jefferson and Chase are projected to hit over $30.2 million per year and Burrow's contract is worth $55 million in annual average value.

    It's the exact predicament that makes it difficult for the Bengals to extend Tee Higgins beyond the one-year franchise tag when they know a Chase extension is imminent.

    However, trading for one of the game's best wide receivers and extending one of the best No. 2 receivers in the league are two different things. Teaming up Jefferson and Chase would be one of the all-time great pairings.

    Ultimately, it's a move that might just be too rich for the Bengals. Dedicating this much draft capital and cap flexibility to Jefferson might cripple their ability to build a championship roster.

    Still, the offense would be downright scary, and the compensation would be tempting for the Vikings given Higgins' talent and the picks that come along with him.

Los Angeles Chargers Get a Major WR1 Upgrade

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    Potential NFL Trade Packages for Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Amid 2024 OTAs (4)

    Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Quentin JohnstonRic Tapia/Getty Images

    Minnesota Vikings Receive: 2025 first-round pick, 2026 second-round pick, WR Quentin Johnston

    Los Angeles Chargers Receive: WR Justin Jefferson

    No receiver room took as much of a hit this offseason as the Los Angeles Chargers. The receiving options used to be a strength for the Bolts, but with Mike Williams getting released and Keenan Allen traded to the Chicago Bears, they are all of a sudden a young, unproven group.

    Some of that is by design. Jim Harbaugh is known for installing an old-school offense that focuses on being the most physical team and running the football.

    Still, that doesn't negate the need for receivers who can beat coverage and get open. Even in his final season as a head coach with the Niners back in 2014 he had two wideouts with more than 100 targets in Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree.

    Right now, the Chargers don't have anyone that's nearly as proven as those two were back then. Quentin Johnston will hope to break out after a disappointing rookie year and Josh Palmer has proved to be somewhat reliable.

    Harbaugh and general manager Joe Hortiz were forced to part ways with Williams and Allen due to their immediate cap situation, but they have already done a lot to remedy that. They have the fifth-most cap space in the league right now with $26.2 million and are looking good for the future with $48.8 million in 2025.

    They have the money to give Jefferson an extension and enough infrastructure in place to be a threat right away.

New England Patriots Accelerate the Rebuild

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    Potential NFL Trade Packages for Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Amid 2024 OTAs (5)

    Drake MayeJonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    Minnesota Vikings Receive: 2025 first-round pick, 2025 third-round pick, 2026 second-round pick, 2026 fourth-round pick

    New England Patriots Receive: WR Justin Jefferson

    Most of these trade packages have included a player who can help right away. It doesn't do the Vikings much good to trade away their best player and not get something in return that can help them in 2024.

    However, a bounty of four draft picks for one player including two first-round picks might just be enough to consider swapping an All-Pro talent who is going to command as much money as Jefferson.

    The money isn't a problem for the Patriots. Their roster is at a point where no one is close to the top of the market at their position right now. They would love to have the problem of signing a receiver to a contract that pays them over $30 million a year.

    That's especially true now that they've drafted Drake Maye. They have their quarterback prospect, but he's throwing to one of the worst receiver rooms in the league. By the end of the year, his best options might be DeMario Douglas and rookies Ja'Lynn Polk and Javon Baker.

    That's a tough environment for Maye to have success. After the disappointment of Mac Jones, the Patriots might be better off making the aggressive move of adding a special player like Jefferson to jumpstart the offense.

    It could go a long way to attracting free agents to New England in 2025 and get this rebuild on a faster path to success.

Go Back to the New York Giants for Malik Nabers

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    Potential NFL Trade Packages for Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Amid 2024 OTAs (6)

    The Giants selected Malik Nabers with the No. 6 overall pick.Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Minnesota Vikings Receive: WR Malik Nabers, 2025 second-round pick, 2025 fourth-round pick

    New York Giants Receive: WR Justin Jefferson

    If there's validity to the rumor, then the Minnesota Vikings must have a lot of confidence in their evaluation of Malik Nabers.

    The electric receiver has the potential to become a star. He was ranked No. 8 overall on our final big board in a dominant wide receiver class. But Jefferson is already a star. There's no projection for the All-Pro wideout and he's still only 24 years old.

    The benefit for the Vikings is that Nabers still has four years of a cheap rookie salary and a club option for a fifth year at a controlled cost. They wouldn't have to worry about an extension for half a decade while still having a potential No. 1 receiver.

    Now that they have a quarterback, it makes sense that the Vikes would still be interested in Nabers. In this trade, they would get their guy and walk away with extra draft capital.

    The Giants would have the No. 1 receiver they are hoping they will get in Nabers. It would make it more difficult for them to draft a quarterback in next year's draft. But Dak Prescott, Jordan Love, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Fields are all set to be free agents next season.

    If Daniel Jones can't thrive in an offense with Jefferson as the primary receiver, then they would become an enticing spot for a veteran quarterback who might be looking for a new opportunity.

Pittsburgh Steelers Give Russell Wilson and Justin Fields a Chance to Thrive

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    Potential NFL Trade Packages for Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Amid 2024 OTAs (7)

    The Steelers are hoping for a Russell Wilson resurgence in 2024.Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Minnesota Vikings Receive: WR George Pickens, 2025 first-round pick, 2026 third-round pick

    Pittsburgh Steelers Receive: WR Justin Jefferson

    The Pittsburgh Steelers took a unique approach at quarterback this offseason. They signed Russell Wilson for next to nothing because of his release from the Denver Broncos and traded for Justin Fields because the Bears happened to get the No. 1 pick to take Caleb Williams.

    Both are potentially genius moves. If either quarterback ends up having success, they pulled off the rare feat of getting a bargain on a quarterback they didn't draft.

    Bringing in a wide receiver like Justin Jefferson would only elevate their chances of that actually happening. Right now, the Steelers' receiver room could still use some work. George Pickens has promise as a No. 1 receiver, but he was 74th in true catch rate and 126th in win rate vs. man coverage, per Player Profiler.

    Pickens is not a separator. He's a contested-catch specialist who is at his best working vertical routes.

    Jefferson is a much more diverse pass-catcher whose ability to dominate on in-breaking routes and win against man coverage makes him one of the most productive receivers in the league.

    Pickens is a good receiver and the Vikings would do well to pair him with Jordan Addison if they trade Jefferson. But the 2022 Offensive Player of the Year is the kind of force multiplier the Steelers need to transform their offense.

Potential NFL Trade Packages for Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Amid 2024 OTAs (2024)

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