Vikings cornerback A.J. Jefferson signs RFA tender

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Vikings cornerback A.J. Jefferson, a restricted free agent, has signed his one-year contract offer from the club, the team said Friday.

Minnesota had retained its first-refusal rights on Jefferson by tendering him a contract before the start of the 2013 league year.

The 25-year-old Jefferson notched 37 tackles and defended five passes in 15 regular-season games in 2012 for Minnesota. He started six games at right cornerback and one contest as the club’s third corner. He also started as an extra defensive back in the Vikings’ playoff loss at Green Bay.

The Vikings acquired Jefferson from Arizona after their final preseason game of 2012. The teams swapped draft picks in the deal, per Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com, with the Cardinals getting a sixth-rounder (No. 176) and the Vikings getting a seventh-round choice (No. 213).

Jefferson’s role in 2013 could be tied to whether Antoine Winfield returns to the club. The Vikings released Winfield in March but would like him back.

18 responses to “Vikings cornerback A.J. Jefferson signs RFA tender

  1. Heeee’s….movin’ on up…to the East Side. To a deeelux apartment, in the skyyyyy!

  2. If DBs were judged on being in the right position to make a play on the ball, this guy would be an all-pro. Unfortunately his man ends up with the ball 9 out of 10 times.

  3. Ugh… so we cut Winfield without a second thought (before they decide we want him back) and keep this bum that got burnt on multiple plays last season? This guy is a small step up from Marcus Sherrels but… a very, very small step up.

  4. All I ask is the corner back we use to make an effort at jumping to defend passes, intercepting the ball. Basically act like its your ball and your the designated wide receiver.

  5. “buhbay1c says: Apr 12, 2013 1:21 PM
    If DBs were judged on being in the right position to make a play on the ball, this guy would be an all-pro. Unfortunately his man ends up with the ball 9 out of 10 times.”

    Agreed. To be fair though, he’s a 3rd year undrafted player at a position that typically takes even the best prospects (like Patrick Peterson) a couple of years to master. If he can take one more step in progression this season, he could truly be a breakout player. He just needs to get those hands up and finish the play. I’m glad the Vikes gave him another year.

  6. buhbay1c could not have said it any better. Well, I guess he could have added the Pack stinks. . . . . .

  7. I sincerely hope this guy improves over last year, because when he was on the field, the reciever (or area) he was responsible for was the opposing QB’s top target.

    And yeah, I want Winfield back, but Antoine is not going to get paid $7 million by any team to play this year. If the Vikings do sign him, expect them to part ways with Kevin Williams. The Vikings are only $4.5 million under the cap now, and signing Winfield is going to cost most of that room.

  8. Talented kid who was the starter in AZ and played well. If they can get him to come back around he has all the tools. A nice “cheap” pickup and a good depth signing.

    You can pay Winfield based on past work, but he wasn’t going to be anywhere near worth the $7.5 million salary. Tough loss, but this forces them to address the corner spot early in the draft. Besides, he has not yet signed with Seattle and may in fact come back at a much reduced cost.

  9. What doesn’t make sense is that the Vikings even offer a RFA tender in the first place. They could have just as easily re-signed him at a lower number and saved some money.

    Its not like the other 31 teams are lining up to sign Jefferson, they already have their own marginal players. If he makes the Vikings final 53 in 2013, that is your first clue about the Viking’s lack of depth in their secondary.

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