It seems to be a matter of when and not if it happens anyway, but a recent report suggests optimism a contract extension between the Lions and T.J. Hockenson will be done soon.
The Detroit Lions want to keep him, and by all indications he wants to stay. But as the tight end market goes up, with recent deals for David Njoku and Dawson Knox in particular, up goes T.J. Hockenson’s market value heading into his fourth season. The Lions secured his rights for 2023 when they picked up his fifth-year option.
On the verge of the season opener, Hockenson said the expected things about his contract situation. He added that he was open to in-season contract negotiations, going against the grain of a lot of players who set an artificial Week 1 deadline for extension negotiations as if they wouldn’t take life-altering money if it was offered in October.
Report: Optimism the Lions and T.J. Hockenson get deal done sooner rather than later
In a mailbag column posted before most of Week 1 action, Matt Lombardo of Heavy.com fielded and answered a question about Hockenson’s contract situation.
In light of Dawson’s new deal with the Bills, what’s the current thought about what the Lions will do with TE T.J. Hockenson?
Here are parts of Lombardo’s response.
According to multiple league sources, the Detroit Lions and Hockenson were engaged deep in contract talks during training camp over the summer, and there is optimism that a deal gets done at some point in the 2022 season.
Lombardo then offered a contract comp–Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert.
I have to believe that deal gets done somewhere above what the Eagles gave Dallas Goedert,” a league source familiar with the tight end market told Heavy. “But a little below George Kittle’s deal.”
For comparison’s sake, Goedert garnered a four-year contract that included a $10.1 million signing bonus and $35.1 million fully guaranteed.
The market value per year for Hockenson is probably in the $14-$15 million range now. The Lions know that, and it still feels like a matter of time before a deal gets done. Maybe even very soon.