The Minnesota Vikings wrapped up the 2022 season on Wednesday as general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell held a year-end press conference.
Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell explained the team is evaluating the future of defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, affirmed its initial offseason commitment to quarterback Kirk Cousins, and chatted about champagne problems.
Yes, champagne problems.
The Vikings and Their Sneaky Champagne Problems
What the hell are those? Great question. ‘Champagne problems’ are essentially “good problems to have,” and the Vikings have precisely that with wideout Justin Jefferson. The phenom pass-catcher is eligible to size a behemoth contract extension in the coming months, and all signs indicate Jefferson will do exactly that. His rookie deal runs out after the 2024 season, so a Vikings extension would theoretically glue the LSU alumnus to Minnesota for the next six to seven years.
At the aforementioned press conference, Adofo-Mensah was asked if retaining the soon-to-be Offensive Player of the Year, Jefferson, would be a challenge. The young executive grinned and said, “I wouldn’t use the word challenge. You got a special player, a special person. Those aren’t problems. Or at least those are champagne problems.”
Champagne Problems is also a Taylor Swift song.
Adofo-Mensah added about Jefferson’s upcoming extension, “So, we’ll start there. We’ve had initial dialogue with him, his agent. All those things we get back to that in the planning, but again it really starts from the player, the person, and we’ll work on solutions from there on.”
According to Jefferson, he has no plan to venture elsewhere, telling reporters on Monday, “I will be wherever I’m wanted. If they want me here, I’m here. That’s not something that I can really control.”
So, Adofo-Mensah was very much aware of Jefferson’s statement following the playoff loss and confirmed to reporters and the masses that he indeed had champagne problems regarding Jefferson. It’s now a matter of when, how much, and putting ink to paper.
The Vikings drafted Jefferson in 2020, and the young wideout already owns more records than a DJ’s house. For most of the 2022 season, Jefferson pursued 2,000 receiving yards as an attainable goal, set the Vikings single-season record for receiving yards, the record for receptions, and has shattered every “through first three seasons” and “through xx games of career” marks. The man is mind-boggling.
Plus, if 2022 was a reasonable indicator, Minnesota will need every drop of Jefferson to be successful. During games where the man was neutralized by double or triple coverage, the Vikings offenses usually whimpered — and the team lost. When Jefferson torched opponents, the Vikings won. Funny how that works.
Jefferson’s contract — via champagne problems — will set the wide receiver market and likely fetch around $30 million per season.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).