After one season in the NFL, Justin Jefferson is already approaching superstar territory. That's what happens when you put up 1,400 yards, break several rookie records held by the likes of Randy Moss and Anquan Boldin, and turn a small Louisiana dance trend into a nationwide one. Not only did Jefferson have an incredible debut campaign on the field, he did it all while showing off a playful personality and growing his personal brand.
People took notice of that. People like LeBron James, for example. LeBron aside, a lot of that recognition came from big-time wide receivers. Jefferson is friends with Odell Beckham Jr. because of their LSU connection, has a relationship with his Vikings predecessor Stefon Diggs, and has had conversations with Moss.
Another flashy wide receiver to take notice of Jefferson's game? Chad Johnson, the six-time Pro Bowler for the Bengals who famously changed his legal last name to Ochocinco for several years during the back end of his NFL career. Johnson and Jefferson have been engaging in a fun back-and-forth on social media for about a week now, and it culminated on Friday with the two meeting up to train –– and go at each other 1-on-1 –– in Miami.
Let's run through the full story of their Twitter exchanges and how they eventually got together to work out.
Thursday, Jan 14
Johnson gets it started with a challenge. He wants to meet up with Jefferson for some 1-on-1s at former NFL WR Brandon Marshall's House of Athlete facility in Weston, FL, near Miami.
Jefferson, while doing an interview with the Pat McAfee show, is informed of Johnson's challenge. "I got something for him," he says (skip to the 15:35 mark in the video below).
Jefferson then takes to Twitter to respond.
Johnson, who famously ate McDonald's almost every day throughout his entire playing career, says he'll pay for the food.
Monday, Jan 18
It's now Monday, and Jefferson didn't forget.
Here's the problem: Jefferson is in Miami, while Johnson is with his kids at Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa. So he's not available just yet, even if he says he'll fly back right away.
Jefferson tells him to hurry up.
Wednesday, Jan 22
Okay, Johnson is back in Miami now after a couple days in Tampa. And he's back to calling out Jefferson.
Jefferson, who has been in Miami the entire time, is wondering where Johnson has been. He then takes things up a notch. "Asked around town they said you scared of me."
Johnson explains that he was out of town, and sets a date: Friday.
Jefferson, slightly confused by the longevity of Johnson's trip to Tampa, sets the time. 10 a.m. sharp.
In the meantime, the two got together to record a podcast with D.K. Metcalf.
Thursday, Jan 21
Johnson says that he hopes Jefferson is getting nice and rested for tomorrow's battle.
Friday, Jan 22
The day is finally here. Johnson and Jefferson meet up at Marshall's facility for some route-running action.
According to Johnson, they did nine 1-on-1s, with Jefferson winning six of them.
Jefferson doesn't agree with that recollection of the score. He says he went 8-1 and tells Johnson not to lie on social media (which is good advice).
Johnson doesn't contest that claim. What he does add, when responding to a fan, is that Jefferson is "saucy like Mikes Hot Honey hot sauce." I haven't tried that particular sauce, so I'll have to take Johnson's word for it.
Here's a video of Jefferson toasting Johnson on one of the reps:
So there you have it. This has been your daily dose of important offseason content.
In all seriousness, it's exciting to see that Jefferson is working on route-running with someone like Johnson. Jefferson has also said he wants to train with people like Beckham, Diggs, and Davante Adams this offseason. He's clearly ready to put in the work it takes to make sure that his sophomore season is even better than his rookie year.
Thanks for reading. Make sure to bookmark this site and check back daily for the latest Vikings news and analysis all offseason long. Also, follow me on Twitter and feel free to ask me any questions on there.