Justin Jefferson Speaks Out on Kirk Cousins Following Vikings Departure

Jefferson Discusses Cousins' Strategic Departure

by Nouman Rasool
Justin Jefferson Speaks Out on Kirk Cousins Following Vikings Departure
© Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Wide receiver Justin Jefferson made a barrage of comments on quarterback Kirk Cousins leaving the Minnesota Vikings for Atlanta, and it was a noticeable change in demeanor across the league. Cousins, a six-year figure from the Vikings until just recently when he signed a multi-million dollar four year deal with Falcons worth $180 million.

A career transition is underway for Cousins. The writing was on the wall when Cousins and Jefferson emerged as one of the better QB-WR pairings in all of football, a notion driven home by Jefferson's 98.3 receiving yards per game highest ever for any player while catching at least five passes to boot.

Moreover, the 5.899 career/receiving yards Jefferson has done in just his first four NFL seasons are most ever by a player through their opening quartet of years-playing or receiving/yard-etagewise. In the context of them playing together, they had great success with one another, but it does mean a new collection of QBs for Jefferson to work with.

Jefferson, a 2020 first-round pick of Minnesota who signed two years after Cousins from LSU and was taken with the No. 22 overall choice that year in the draft, didn't seem upset about when he said goodbye to him even if it resulted in him departing I-29 for an NFC East destination instead.

Cousins, who turns 36 on Tuesday, was hoping to start over with the Falcons.

Jefferson's Candid Reaction

Jefferson revealed his take on the move on The Rich Eisen Show during an interview. "Yeah and no," Jefferson said, explaining that he always expected Cousins to make a business-friendly decision in his career.

But all of it was not, that he wanted to be here. Just for paying me, and just for having to pay so many other different guys that I feel he wanted a fresh start. An opportunity for a fresh start with Atlanta. Quezada is an escaped fugitive who will return to prison, Jefferson said: "I'm not upset with him at all for that.

So I appreciate what he has gotten me and gave to us, but at the end of the day it is a business. You gotta survive for you and your FAM. I clearly understand that. It's on to the next. I always take advantage of the opportunity, no matter which quarterback it is to me.

Because I'm always going to try and be the quarterback's friend, make his job a lot easier. Kirk or if it's Sam. I need to make it as easy for them, as possible. The Vikings have answered by keeping Jefferson around too, locking him up on a four-year $140 million extension before he can enter free agency.

Jefferson has appeared in six games without Cousins and totaled 38 catches on 50 targets for a total of 561 yards to go with one touchdown. Darnold has an advantage in experience over McCarthy, who was the 10th pick of the 2024 draft.