Dec 31, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have claimed throughout the offseason that they were committed to working out a contract extension with superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson. But in a shocking turn of events, a recent report suggests that they were actually interested in trading Jefferson away before the NFL Draft.

According to a report by Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Minnesota Vikings tried to trade up in the draft to select former LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers to replace Justin Jefferson who they would then replace.

“Pssst,” Waters wrote in his column on Sunday. “There was buzz at draft time that the Vikings wanted to move from No. 11 to No. 5, not to pick a quarterback but to get LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers, who was picked No. 6 by the Giants. Had that trade occurred, Jefferson would have been traded and Nabers would have been the No. 1 receiver.”

This would have been a blockbuster move from the Vikings, though it obviously didn’t happen as the team was seemingly unable to trade up in the draft and selected quarterback J.J. McCarthy with the No. 10 overall pick instead.

While the trade didn’t happen, the fact that the Vikings were willing to consider parting ways with Jefferson perhaps indicates that the Vikings and Jefferson may be pretty far off in their contract negotiations.

[St. Paul Pioneer Press]