Former Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson took a brutal shot at his former team on the way out the door. Hockenson was traded to the Vikings on Tuesday.
T.J. Hockenson was unlikely to stay in Detroit once his contract expired at the end of the 2023 season. The way the Lions saw it, he was an expendable asset, and one who still had a year left on his contract.
General manager Brad Holmes has made it his end game to rebuild this Lions roster from scratch, as the Matt Patricia days did the franchise no favors in terms of player development.
Hockenson was a former top-10 pick for Detroit, and he’s no slouch. With the Vikings, he’ll have a chance to thrive now that Irv Smith Jr. is out for the season.
The trade, as outlined below, gives Detroit a chance to move up in both of the next two NFL Drafts.
2023 2nd-round pick
2024 3rd-round pick
TE, T.J. Hockenson
2023 4th-round pick
2024 conditional pick
New Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson takes shot at Lions
Hockenson was surprised to be traded within the same division, the NFC North, in the first place.
“I kinda knew. I had a little idea. I didn’t expect here, but obviously super, super excited to be here,” Hockenson said. “When I got here last night I was like, This is pretty sweet. Just excited to be here, for real.”
The former Iowa Hawkeye is also in a position to make the postseason for the first time in his brief NFL career. That’s a vast change of pace from how things look in MoTown. The Lions postseason hopes are bleak year-in and year-out, though Holmes hopes to change that in time.
“That’s really what we’re here to do is go somewhere and win some games. That’s kind of the first time I’ve been able to say that,” Hockenson continued.
Oh god that hurts.
Hockenson isn’t wrong, however. Hopefully, this is a trade that makes both franchises better.