Comparing Jefferson’s Record Contract to Packers’ Receiver Corps

Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson has signed a record-setting contract worth $35 million per season. The Green Bay Packers’ receivers will earn considerably less … for now.
Justin Jefferson after the Vikings-Packers game in 2021.
Justin Jefferson after the Vikings-Packers game in 2021. / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – The bad news for the Green Bay Packers is they’ll have to face Minnesota Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson for another four seasons. The good news is the Vikings will have to face a Packers receiver corps that is young, talented and inexpensive for another couple years.

Jefferson on Monday signed a four-year contract extension worth $35 million per season. Jefferson is the highest-paid receiver in NFL history, a well-deserve feat considering his dominance.

Jefferson is the latest receiver to earn a monster payday this offseason. These seven players signed contract extensions that place them in the top 12 at the position in annual pay:

Jefferson, Vikings: Four years, $140 million; $35.0 million per season (first among receivers).

A.J. Brown, Eagles: Three years, $96 million; $32.0 million per season (second among receivers).

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions: Four years, $120.01 million; $30.0025 per season (third among receivers).

Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins: Three years, $84.75 million; $28.25 per season (fifth among receivers).

DeVonta Smith, Eagles: Three years, $75 million; $25.0 million per season (eighth among receivers).

Nico Collins, Texans: Three years, $72.75 million; $24.25 million per season (ninth among receivers).

Michael Pittman, Colts: Three years, $70 million; $23.3 million per season (12th among receivers).

More massive paydays are on the near-horizon, including the Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, the 49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk and the Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb.

Looking a bit further out, the Packers will have some pricy decisions to make. Obviously, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, who will be free agents after the 2025 season, and Jayden Reed and Dontayvion Wicks, who will be free agents after the 2026 season, have a lot to prove before joining the list of receivers in the $20 million-per-season bracket. But they’ve shown enough to make it a reasonable possibility.

For now, though, the Packers can enjoy being on the extreme side of the bang-for-the-buck ledger. Here are the cap charges for Green Bay’s veteran receivers in 2024:

Christian Watson: $2.52 million.

Jayden Reed: $1.63 million.

Romeo Doubs: $1.16 million.

Samori Toure: $1.00 million.

Dontayvion Wicks: $990,636.

Malik Heath: $918,000.

Bo Melton: $915,000.

Added together, they will count about $9.14 million against the 2024 salary cap.

And here are their total contracts:

Christian Watson: Four years, $9.21 million (free agency after 2025).

Jayden Reed: Four years, $7.18 million (free agency after 2026).

Romeo Doubs: Four years, $4.34 million (free agency after 2025).

Dontayvion Wicks: Four years, $4.14 million (free agency after 2026).

Samori Toure: Four years, $3.74 million (free agency after 2025).

Malik Heath: Three years, $2.70 million (free agency after 2025).

Bo Melton: Two years, $1.67 million (exclusive rights free agency after 2024).

Added together, those seven players’ total contracts are a bit less than $33 million. That is less than Jefferson's annual average.

To look at it another way:

Great things are expected from Jefferson, who’s on an all-time trajectory with a league-record 98.2 receiving yards per game. Great things also are expected from the Packers’ group of receivers, who are entering the prime of their careers and have a year of rapport built alongside Jordan Love.

That group is why the Packers are among the Super Bowl favorites at FanDuel Sportsbook, no matter the dominance of Jefferson.

“Yeah, we did a lot of good things last year, but we’re still starting over,” passing-game coordinator Jason Vrable said before the start of OTAs. “We just know where to get lined up, we know the call better, so now where you can take it to the next level. You have to know yourself, but you also have to know your opponent in this league. I think that’s where our receiver room right now.

“I can already tell, they understand coverages more, they understand angles better, maybe the top of the route, how to be cleaner at the top. So, that’s where I think the growth and where we look faster and look cleaner right now is just the lining up part is easy for us. It’s second nature now. We’ve taken a couple next steps and we look cleaner lining up, and you can call plays and go execute them faster than we did last year at this point.”

More Green Bay Packers News

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Latest news: Campbell’s contract will help fund Love’s extension | Time is now for Packers | Training camp start set | Strengths/Weaknesses | Team Relative Athetic Scores | Triplets | PFF’s OT rankings | Tom Brady on Jordan Love

Bill Huber


Bill Huber, who has covered the Green Bay Packers since 2008, is the publisher of Packer Central, a Sports Illustrated channel. E-mail: History: Huber took over Packer Central in August 2019. Twitter: Background: Huber graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he played on the football team, in 1995. He worked in newspapers in Reedsburg, Wisconsin Dells and Shawano before working at The Green Bay News-Chronicle and Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1998 through 2008. With The News-Chronicle, he won several awards for his commentaries and page design. In 2008, he took over as editor of Packer Report Magazine, which was founded by Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Nitschke, and In 2019, he took over the new Sports Illustrated site Packer Central, which he has grown into one of the largest sites in the Sports Illustrated Media Group.