Vikings' Justin Jefferson on Justin Fields Rumors: We Have to Build for Future

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2021

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson plays during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Al Goldis/Associated Press

Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins were one of the NFL's most dynamic quarterback-wide receiver duos last season. 

That said, Jefferson acknowledges the Vikings need to build for a future without their current starting quarterback. The second-year wideout appeared on The Herd on Tuesday and was asked about the team's reported interest in Justin Fields ahead of the NFL draft. 

"We have to build on for after Kirk or whatever the case may be. Having Justin Fields brings a little bit more pressure to other teams by having a dominant quarterback like he is," Jefferson said. 

The Vikings ultimately didn't wind up selecting Fields, with the rival Chicago Bears trading up to No. 11 to grab the Ohio State product. However, Minnesota did make an investment at the quarterback position at the top of Round 3, selecting Texas A&M's Kellen Mond.

The idea of moving on from Cousins could become a reality as soon as next offseason. The Vikings could save $35 million on their 2022 cap by trading Cousins ahead of the 2022 season. They will almost certainly have to make a decision regarding his future within the next year, with Cousins' contract expiring after next season.

Mond will be on a cost-controlled contract through the 2024 campaign. If the Vikings take a look at Mond and feel they can win with him, it might behoove the franchise to explore trading Cousins, who might be able to net a first-round pick from a team that needs a veteran option.

While few would say Cousins is an elite NFL quarterback, he's shown himself to be a capable, steady option under center. Next season will just be a matter of the Vikings deciding if they have a higher ceiling going in a different direction.