How Justin Jefferson Became the NFL’s Highest-Paid Wide Receiver: A Journey from LSU to Record-Breaking Contracts

Early Life and Background

Birthdate and Place

Justin Jefferson was born on June 16, 1999, in St. Rose, Louisiana.

This small town in St. Charles Parish is where Justin’s football journey began.

High School

Jefferson went to Destrehan High School in Destrehan, Louisiana.

Playing under head coach Stephen Robicheaux, he quickly became a standout athlete.

In his senior year, he had 44 catches for 956 yards and nine touchdowns.

This earned him a three-star recruit rating by 247Sports and a spot on the Louisiana 5A All-State team.

Family Background

Justin’s family is full of athletic talent. His parents, John Earl Jefferson and Elaine Jefferson, were basketball players.

John played college basketball at Northeast Louisiana, now the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Elaine was a high school basketball star. Justin’s older brothers, Jordan and Rickey, also played football at LSU, with Jordan as a quarterback and Rickey as a safety.

Growing up in such a sports-focused family, Justin was well-supported and motivated to excel.

Ethnicity

Justin Jefferson is African American.

His Louisiana upbringing and cultural roots have greatly influenced his career and life, reflecting in his strong work ethic and commitment.

Justin Jefferson: Quick Facts

CategoryDetails
BirthdateJune 16, 1999
HometownSt. Rose, Louisiana
High SchoolDestrehan High School
ParentsJohn Earl Jefferson, Elaine Jefferson
BrothersJordan Jefferson, Rickey Jefferson
EthnicityAfrican American
CollegeLouisiana State University (LSU)
College Highlights2018: 54 rec., 875 yds, 6 TDs; 2019: 111 rec., 1,540 yds, 18 TDs
NFL Draft2020, Minnesota Vikings, 22nd overall
NFL DebutSeptember 13, 2020
Years with Vikings2020 – Present
Achievements3x Pro Bowl, Fastest to 3,000 yds
Career Stats (2023)324 rec., 4,825 yds, 26 TDs
Current Contract4-year, $13.12 million
Contract Extension2024, 4-year, $140 million, $110 million guaranteed
Highest Paid WRYes, $35 million per year
Net Worth (2024)~$20 million
Card ValuesSigned Rookie: $200-$1,000; College: $50-$200; Heroes: $5-$15
Age24
Height6′ 1″
Speed4.43-second 40-yard dash
Signature DanceThe Griddy
ResidenceMinneapolis area
VehiclesRange Rover, Mercedes-Benz

College Career

College

Justin went to Louisiana State University (LSU), playing for the Tigers from 2017 to 2019.

Under head coach Ed Orgeron and wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph, he became one of college football’s top receivers.

Years Played

  • Freshman Year (2017): Jefferson didn’t record any receptions. He redshirted this year to hone his skills.
  • Sophomore Year (2018): He led LSU with 54 receptions for 875 yards and six touchdowns. A standout game was against Georgia, where he caught six passes for 108 yards.
  • Junior Year (2019): Jefferson had 111 receptions, 1,540 yards, and 18 touchdowns. He was crucial in LSU’s undefeated season and national championship win. In the College Football Playoff semifinal against Oklahoma, he caught 14 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns, setting a CFP record.

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said in an interview with ESPN that,

“Justin was always a competitor. Even in practice, he wanted to be the best. That mindset carried over to the games,”

Ed Orgeron, ESPN

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NFL Draft and Professional Career

Draft Year

Justin Jefferson was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 22nd overall.

He filled the gap left by Stefon Diggs, who was traded to the Buffalo Bills.

NFL Debut

Jefferson made his NFL debut on September 13, 2020, against the Green Bay Packers.

By his third game, he showcased his talent with seven catches for 175 yards and a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans.

NFL Career Highlights and Stats

Years with Vikings

Jefferson has been with the Vikings since 2020, marking four seasons with the team by 2023.

His time has been marked by record-breaking performances and consistent excellence.

Notable Achievements

  • Pro Bowl Selections: 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Records and Milestones: Jefferson holds multiple rookie records, including the most receiving yards by a rookie (1,400 yards). He was the fastest to reach 3,000 receiving yards in NFL history, achieving this in just 30 games.

“Justin Jefferson is redefining what it means to be a young receiver in this league. His combination of speed, hands, and football IQ is rare,” said Adam Thielen, his Vikings teammate, in an interview with NFL Network.

Career Stats (up to 2023 season)

  • Receptions: 324
  • Yards: 4,825
  • Touchdowns: 26

These stats show how reliable and explosive Jefferson is on the field.

Contract Status

Current Contract

Jefferson signed a 4-year, $13.12 million rookie contract in 2020, including a $7.1 million signing bonus and full guarantees.

Contract Extension Status

In 2024, Jefferson signed a record-setting 4-year, $140 million extension with the Vikings, making him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history.

This deal includes $110 million in guaranteed money and extends his contract through the 2028 season.

Justin Jefferson Became a Record-Breaking NFL Star
Justin Jefferson Became a Record-Breaking NFL Star

Financial and Personal Details

Highest Paid WR?

Yes, Justin Jefferson is the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL, with an average annual value of $35 million under his new contract.

Net Worth in 2024

As of 2024, Jefferson’s net worth is about $20 million, including his NFL earnings and endorsements.

Signed Rookie Card Value

A signed Justin Jefferson rookie card can range from $200 to over $1,000, depending on condition and rarity.

Premium sets like Panini Prizm and Panini National Treasures tend to fetch higher prices.

College Card Value

Jefferson’s college cards usually range from $50 to $200.

These cards are popular among collectors who followed his LSU career.

Heroes Card Value

His “Heroes” cards from Panini Prestige are valued between $5 and $15, with rare parallels fetching higher prices.

Limited editions and unique features can significantly increase their value.

Personal Life

Age

Justin Jefferson is 24 years old, turning 25 on June 16, 2024. His youth and success suggest many productive years ahead.

Height

He stands at 6 feet 1 inch tall, which helps him reach high passes and compete against defenders.

Speed

Jefferson ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the 2020 NFL Combine, showing his elite speed.

His quickness and agility are key to his game, allowing him to create separation and make big plays.

Signature Celebration: The Griddy Dance

The Griddy dance, created by Allen “Griddy” Davis, involves tapping heels, swinging arms, and forming “big glasses” with hands.

Jefferson made this dance famous at LSU, making it his signature touchdown celebration in the NFL.

It’s become a fan favorite and a cultural phenomenon.

“When Justin hits the Griddy, it just brings an energy to the whole team. It’s infectious,” said Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell in a post-game interview with Sports Illustrated.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who are Justin Jefferson’s parents?

His parents are John Earl Jefferson and Elaine Jefferson. John played college basketball, and Elaine was a high school basketball star. Their athletic background provided a strong foundation for Justin and his brothers.

Who are Justin Jefferson’s brothers?

Justin has two older brothers, Jordan and Rickey Jefferson, both of whom played football at LSU. Jordan was a quarterback, and Rickey played safety. Both brothers have been supportive of Justin’s career.

Who is Justin Jefferson’s girlfriend?

There is no publicly confirmed information about Justin Jefferson’s girlfriend. He tends to keep his personal life private, focusing on his football career and philanthropic efforts.

Does Justin Jefferson have any kids?

There is no publicly available information indicating that Jefferson has any children. He is still young and focused on his career.

Where is Justin Jefferson’s house?

Jefferson lives in the Minneapolis area, near where he plays for the Vikings. Details about his residence are kept private for security reasons.

What kind of car does Justin Jefferson drive?

Jefferson owns a Range Rover and a Mercedes-Benz, reflecting his success and taste for luxury.

Fun Fact: The Griddy Dance

Origin

The Griddy dance was created by Allen “Griddy” Davis in New Orleans and popularized by Jefferson.

It quickly became a favorite among football fans and players.

Details

The dance involves tapping heels, swinging arms, and forming “big glasses” with hands.

It adds a joyful and unique element to Jefferson’s touchdown celebrations.

The Griddy has even been featured in video games like Fortnite, cementing its place in popular culture.

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Grace Taylor is a dedicated writer at Viz Times, bringing stories to life with her unique flair. Before joining the Viz Times family, she honed her skills at The Sporting News. With a Master’s in Sports Media from Arizona State University, her work has graced platforms like Medium.com, SB Nation, and FanSided. Beyond writing, Grace is a loving wife, mother of two, and an enthusiastic tennis player.

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