Home Sports Justin Jefferson ‘not mad’ after Kirk Cousins’ departure from Minnesota

Justin Jefferson ‘not mad’ after Kirk Cousins’ departure from Minnesota

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Justin Jefferson 'not mad' after Kirk Cousins' departure from Minnesota

There are no hard feelings between Justin Jefferson and his former quarterback.

Kirk Cousins, after six seasons as quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, signed a four-year, $180 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, including $100 million guaranteed. After being one of the most dynamic quarterback-receiver duos in the league over the past four seasons, Jefferson understands why Cousins ​​made the decision to look elsewhere.

“I always knew Kirk would do whatever was necessary for him in terms of business,” Jefferson said Tuesday on the Rich Eisen show“And I knew that not everything was the way he wanted it to be here, especially having to pay me and so many other different players. I feel like he just wanted a fresh start, a fresh opportunity to start with Atlanta and start fresh and I’m not mad at him at all for that. I’m just thankful for what he’s brought me and the things we’ve accomplished together.

“But at the end of the day, it’s a business and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do for yourself and your family, and I clearly understand that. But now it’s the next step. In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter what quarterback it is. I’m always going to try to make the most of the opportunity. I’m always going to try to be the quarterback’s friend and make his job a lot easier. It doesn’t matter if it was Kirk or if it’s Sam (Darnold) or if it’s JJ (McCarthy), I’m going to make it as easy as possible for him.”

In Jefferson’s final full season with the Vikings in 2022, he was named a first-team All-Pro with 1,809 yards and 128 receptions. In 2023, he missed seven games due to injury but still managed to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth consecutive year.

His production over the years earned him a four-year, $140 million contract extension, with $110 million guaranteed, from the Vikings last month. This makes him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL.

Jefferson also talked about his potential new quarterback for the season, as Minnesota signed veteran Darnold and also selected McCarthy with the 10th overall pick. The star receiver talked about what it’s like getting used to a new quarterback.

“I feel like Sam’s doing a great job of communicating, connecting with the players. He understands that he’s the new guy,” Jefferson said. “We’ve got to bond with him and build a connection and chemistry with him.

“He’s an older guy, it’s not like he’s new to the league. He knows how to socialize, how to talk and communicate with us, not just about football, but in general talking about different things, like Kirk and I used to do. Having Sam there, a veteran, with a more mature mindset (and) having JJ come and learn from him as well is definitely something we needed.”

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