Vikings comment on Justin Jefferson skipping 2024 OTA sessions

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

On Monday, the Minnesota Vikings reported to the TCO Performance Center for the first of multiple OTA sessions this year. The majority of the Vikings' roster is taking part in the first OTA session, but since it's voluntary, some players are not in attendence, including star wide receiver Justin Jefferson.

With Jefferson in the middle of negotiating a lucrative extension with Minnesota, his absence from any of the team's voluntary OTAs this offseason will, unfortunately, be blown out of proportion by some people and used as some sort of evidence that he's unhappy with the Vikings.

However, this is not the first time the All-Pro wide receiver has skipped one of Minnesota's voluntary OTA sessions. Jefferson did the same thing in 2023, but he made sure he was in attendance for the Vikings' mini-camp, which is mandatory for every player on the team's roster.

Kevin O'Connell comments on Justin Jefferson skipping the Minnesota Vikings OTA sessions

Just as Jefferson skipped Minnesota's voluntary OTAs and took part in the team's mandatory mini-camp last year, it sounds like the Vikings are expecting something similar from their top wide receiver this offseason.

At least that's how Minnesota head coach Kevin O'Connell made it sound on Monday when he was asked if expects Jefferson to take part in any of the team's voluntary OTA sessions this year.

"[I] want him here as much as we can have him, but [I] also understand there's a lot of factors involved. There's nobody I love having around more on a daily basis just because of how he elevates others. [He's] truly [a] special, special player."

So it doesn't seem like there's anything that has pointed to there being any sort of rift between Jefferson and the Vikings at this point in time, and his absence from OTAs is nothing that the team didn't already anticipate.

When Minnesota's top wide receiver showed up for the team's mandatory minicamp last year, he had the following to say about why he skipped the Vikings' voluntary 2023 OTA sessions.

"I had a lot of stuff going on. I mean they didn't really, you know, force [me] to come back too much. So, it didn't seem like I was missing too, too much. But they definitely wanted me back here. [I] wanted to be back here.

Jefferson also mentioned that he had a number of endorsement and marketing obligations that took up his time during voluntary OTAs in 2023. Since he is still one of the NFL's most popular players, it seems safe to assume this is part of the reason for his absence this year as well.

So, at this point in the offseason, there doesn't really seem to be any reason for Vikings fans to be worried about his lack of attendance at the team's 2024 voluntary OTAs (despite how some random hot-take artists might attempt to spin it).

Now, if Jefferson doesn't show up for Minnesota's mandatory mini-camp on June 4th, then Vikings fans can go right ahead and worry all they want. Luckily, nothing currently seems to be pointing to that being something that actually ends up happening.

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