Sunday, September 25, 2022

Vikings’ Justin Jefferson destroys Eagles ahead of primetime matchup

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Minnesota Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson led a vendetta against every team that passed him in the 2020 draft — most notably the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles, looking for a wide receiver with the 21st pick overall, passed Jefferson, who went on to become the sixth wide receiver picked by the Vikings just one pick later in the draft.

Philadelphia’s design flaw is still a sore point in the Eagles fan base. Jefferson fanned those flames with a recent comment he made ahead of a Monday night primetime football game in Philadelphia.

In a Sept. 16 press conference, Jefferson addressed his feelings in hindsight since the Eagles passed him.

“Every mock draft made me want to go to Philly, so it was definitely a shock when Philly was on the board, got the call, and it was Minnesota. But I’m definitely happy — much happier — to be here than I am there,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson has not yet had the opportunity to face the Eagles in his career and said, “I’m looking forward to it. I can barely wait for it.”

After landing in Minnesota, Jefferson made a promise in 2020 to any team that didn’t believe in him.

“Every single person who picked a recipient instead of me will pay,” Jefferson said on The Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio in 2020. “I’ll show them I’m the better receiver.”

The Eagles, who preferred Jalen Reagor Jefferson, didn’t see the same payoff from their wide receiver in the first round as the Vikings. Reagor, who was struggling with an injury, had 31 receptions for 396 yards and one touchdown, while Jefferson broke the rookie record for receiving yards with 88 receptions for 1,400 yards and eight touchdowns.

NFL insider John Clayton reported an “internal rift” within the Eagles organization and said some wanted to call up Jefferson through Reagor.

“They’ve done a terrible job drafting wide receivers,” Clayton said in December 2020. “In fact, I heard last week that there was internal disagreement about Jefferson versus Reagor being drafted, with some wanting Jefferson, and Jefferson was one of the best rookies in the league this year and Reagor is just getting along but not doing well.

Philadelphia eventually ejected Reagor and ironically traded him to Minnesota in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2023 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2024, which could become a fifth-round pick if Reagor doesn’t get as far as the Vikings hope.

Reagor bears the label of a reclamation project after the Eagles cut losses with the former first-round pick.

However, Reagor is not ready to lift the slight against him that quickly.

“I feel welcome to be here,” Reagor said in a Sept. 5 press conference after his trade from Philadelphia. “It’s just another opportunity to show what I can do. I’ll make the best of it and let everything come my way.”

When asked if he views his return to Lincoln Financial Field as a revenge game, Reagor leaned on the hostility he might face from Eagles fans.

“Of course why not?” he said Sept. 16, according to Pioneer Press. “But I won’t go into the game with pressing. I’ll just let the game come to me. Whatever I do, make the best of it.”

When asked if he views his return to Lincoln Financial Field as a revenge game, Reagor leaned on the hostility he might face from Eagles fans.

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