Busting the latest bogus Justin Jefferson trade rumor

Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson
Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson / David Berding/GettyImages

Signing superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson to a contract extension has been one of the biggest priorities for the Minnesota Vikings during the 2024 offseason, and because it hasn't happened yet, it has created a void for people to speculate why a deal still hasn't been completed.

Most recently, the Pioneer Press' Charley Walters mentioned how there was "buzz" back during the time surrounding last month's NFL Draft that the Vikings wanted to trade up in the first round to pick No. 5 in order to select former LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers. Walters added that Minnesota would have then traded Jefferson if they were able to land Nabers in the draft.

To some, this seems like Walters is breaking news with completely new information about Jefferson. However, it might actually just be a case of the writer sharing a rumor from the past that he recently stumbled upon and felt it was still worth sharing with the public.

Latest Justin Jefferson trade rumor isn't one that should worry Minnesota Vikings fans

Following the opening round of last month's NFL Draft, ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reported exactly what Walters shared this past Saturday: that the Vikings were interested in trading up in the first round to acquire the No. 5 pick and select Nabers.

However, Florio never mentioned anything about Jefferson being traded if Minnesota drafted Nabers, so it seems like Walters just assumed that is something that would have probably happened.

So, looking back at the rumor Florio shared last month and how Walters shared in his column that there was "buzz" back during draft time about the Vikings being interested in trading up to draft Nabers, it seems safe to say that the Pioneer Press writer was essentially just re-sharing the rumor from Florio.

The type of post that Walters shared this rumor in should be taken into consideration as well. It was included in a long article that touched on a variety of local Minnesota sports topics, including tidbits about the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves, the MLB's Minnesota Twins, and other local sports in the Twin Cities.

A number of the things Walters shares in these types of articles, that he typically posts once per week, are just small and simple pieces of information. For example, he mentioned the Vikings' current win total being set at 6.5 by oddsmakers, and he also shared where Minnesota signal-caller Sam Darnold appeared on this year's quarterback rankings from NBC Sports' Chris Simms.

If Walters was truly going to share a bombshell of a report about Minnesota being willing to trade Jefferson during last month's NFL Draft, then why in the world would it just be thrown in the middle of an article posted on the Saturday night of a holiday weekend that includes over 30 other pieces of info about the Vikings and other Minnesota professional sports teams?

It's because it's not new information.

But because we currently live in a world full of aggregators and trending news websites that are willing to spread almost anything around, regardless of validity, in order to increase follower counts and readers, this is why we've ended up with what Walters recently mentioned about Jefferson being interpreted as an actual report or rumor, despite the writer never mentioning that the information was shared with him by a league or team source.

With there not being much to talk about when it comes to the Vikings at this point in the year, things like this are bound to happen. But when it comes to this specific "rumor" about Jefferson, Minnesota fans should have nothing to worry about since it doesn't even seem to be a rumor at all.

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