Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson is trying to pay no mind to trade rumors

SideLion Report

T.J. Hockenson has surfaced in trade speculation, but the Lions tight end is trying to keep the rumors in proper perspective.

As the Detroit Lions look to be sellers before next Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline, tight end T.J. Hockenson has become subject to speculation. The Lions would have to get a pretty good offer to move him though, and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (subscription required, h/t to Lions Wire for the upcoming quotes) reported on Friday the team has not fielded calls.

The Lions had not fielded any calls on Hockenson’s availability as of Friday, though interest in the tight end (and others) did not heat up until deadline day last year.

In a further conversation with Birkett, Hockenson addressed the realities of the situation.

Listen, I’m not stupid, I know what I can bring to another team and I know here that they could, if they want something, if they want to do things for the future then I’m not stupid in that sense,” Hockenson said. “It is a business and whatever they have to do upstairs they’re going to do. And that doesn’t — there’s no hard feelings about it. There’s no, ‘Hey, I don’t like him personally’ or anything about that. That’s just how it is. So I’m not dumb or naïve in that fact.”

T.J. Hockenson is a tradeable asset for the Lions

The Lions picked up Hockenson’s fifth-year option for 2023, which will pay him a fully guaranteed $9.39 million next season. So he’d be a little bit more than a rental for a team that acquired him, leaving aside how he’s in line for a contract extension in a tight end market which is getting more expensive. He’s also just 25 years old, so he can a long-term piece somewhere even if it’s not Detroit.

Hockenson had a huge game in Week 4 against the Seattle Seahawks, with eight catches for 179 yards and three touchdowns. In his other five games this season, he has totaled 15 receptions for 136 yards and one touchdown.

For whatever it’s worth, Hockenson added he doesn’t think the Lions are actively trying to trade him and he wants to stay. Between now and Tuesday afternoon, the idea a team will be sufficiently aggressive enough to pry him away is not far-fetched.

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