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The Minnesota Vikings have formalized the easiest contract move of their complicated offseason, exercising the fifth-year option of All-Pro receiver Justin Jefferson.

The sides have been working through negotiations on a long-term extension since the end of the 2022 season. In the meantime, Tuesday’s announcement means the Vikings have Jefferson under contract through the 2024 season. The fifth-year option is worth $19.743 million, per the formula set out in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association.

Jefferson, the No. 22 overall pick of the 2020 draft, originally signed a four-year rookie contract worth $13.1 million. He has since developed into one of the NFL’s best receivers, and he led the league in 2022 with 128 receptions for 1,809 yards. His career totals of 324 receptions for 4,825 yards set an NFL record for a player’s first three seasons.

The Vikings are in the midst of what general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has called a “competitive rebuild” of their roster. They have bid farewell to veteran receiver Adam Thielen and linebacker Eric Kendricks, among others, and quarterback Kirk Cousins is entering the final year of his contract. But they have left no doubt that Jefferson is at the core of their plans.

In February, Adofo-Mensah said it is a “high priority” to extend Jefferson’s contract and added: “I don’t want to be the Vikings’ GM without that guy on our team.”

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Vikings pick up 5th-year option for star WR Justin Jefferson