What DeVonta Smuth contract extension means for Vikings’ Justin Jefferson

Contracts are getting bigger and bigger across the board with the salary cap going up over $30 million for the 2024 season. Each extension seems to be getting bigger and bigger and that trend isn’t likely to stop anytime soon.

On Monday morning, the Philadelphia Eagles signed wide receiver DeVonta Smith to a three-year extension worth $75 million with $51 million guaranteed. That leaves the Eagles with two wide receivers making an average of $25 million per year.

The fascinating element here is how this could impact wide receivers needing an extension and the Minnesota Vikings are in that exact predicament.

Vikings, Justin Jefferson’s contract extension getting more expensive

After failing to sign Jefferson to a contract extension last September, an extension is getting more expensive for the Vikings. The most recent one is particularly more damaging than someone like CeeDee Lamb or Ja’Marr Chase getting an extension. Why is that? Smith is a top-end WR2 and not a WR1. That distinction is key to the discussion.

WR2s were maxing out on the open market at around $16 million with the top-end players last year like Jakobi Meyers getting $11 million per year. This cycle, Calvin Ridley signed with the Tennessee Titans for a $23 million average annual value, spiking the market for the higher-end version of the WR2 market. With those players getting that much money, it’s not unreasonable for the top players to get significantly more than that.

What does that mean for Jefferson? Well for starters, it’s a near guarantee that Jefferson will get over $30 million per season, but the length of the contract is going to be interesting. Receivers are trending to wanting to take three-year extensions so they can cash in on a third contract and the Vikings will likely want more team control than that. What will the extension look like? Nobody truly knows, but it will be an expensive one.


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