Vikings may have surprisingly saved Packers' Super Bowl dreams

The Vikings helping the Packers?
Justin Jefferson
Justin Jefferson / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages

In a weird twist of fate, it might actually be the Minnesota Vikings -- of all teams -- that help the Green Bay Packers keep their Super Bowl dreams alive. Actually, they may have already helped.

The Minnesota Vikings just gave star wide receiver Justin Jefferson the biggest contract in NFL history for a non-quarterback at $35 million per year. Before he got the extension from the Vikings, it was reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter (on his podcast) that multiple teams reached out to the Vikings asking about Jefferson's availability in a trade -- and were shut down. One of the teams that was sniffing around a potential trade for Jefferson was, of course, the San Francisco 49ers.

Jefferson staying in Minnesota is a much better situation for the Packers' immediate Super Bowl hopes and dreams than him going to San Francisco to add to that juggernaut of a roster. Had Jefferson been traded to the 49ers, San Francisco may have made themselves insurmountable in the postseason.

But staying in Minnesota? Even though the Packers have to play the Vikings twice every season, it's a much more preferable option for them currently.

Justin Jefferson staying in Minnesota may actually have helped the Packers

The Vikings are in somewhat of a rebuilding/reloading stage. Anytime you make a drastic change at the quarterback position, that's more than fair to say. And it wasn't just Kirk Cousins that was sent packing from Minnesota this offseason, it was also their best defensive player: Danielle Hunter.

Yes, the Vikings reloaded with a first-round pick at QB and a first-round pick off the edge. Yes, they have a talented roster outside of the quarterback position. But Cousins was a known commodity and presented a much more present threat to the Packers than JJ McCarthy does right now.

Or Sam Darnold, for that matter.

By refusing to trade the best wide receiver in the league to the best team in the NFC, the Minnesota Vikings did the Green Bay Packers a solid. Not that GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah or head coach Kevin O'Connell should be expecting a thank you note in the mail anytime soon.

Unfortunately, we're still living in the world where the 49ers have three top-tier talents at the receiver position. They still have Brandon Aiyuk (for now), Deebo Samuel (for now), and first-round rookie Ricky Pearsall. They just re-signed Christian McCaffrey to another extension. They have one of the best tight ends in the game in George Kittle.

The arsenal remains fully loaded, but thanks to the Vikings, the 49ers don't have an other-worldly embarrassment of riches led by Justin Jefferson.

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