In the midst of a busy trade deadline day, the Detroit Lions have traded away tight end T. J. Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings.
The deal consisted of Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-round pick, and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick for the Vikings. The conditional fourth-round pick will become a 2024 fifth-round pick if the Vikings win a playoff game. In return, the Lions would receive a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick.
Earlier last week, Sheila Ford Hamp spoke to the media about building the Lions organization through the draft. This trade further supports her statement as this trade now gives Detroit nine picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.
“I know this is difficult. Our rebuild is hard, but we really believe in our process. We really believe in–we’re going to turn this thing around the right way, through the draft. It requires patience. It’s frustrating. Am I frustrated? Absolutely. Are the fans frustrated? Absolutely.”
The trade comes after Minnesota’s Irv Smith Jr hurt his ankle in the final play of the Vikings win over Arizona on Sunday. Minnesota is fighting their own injury bug as Smith Jr will miss time due to a high ankle sprain. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Smith Jr is expected to miss 8 to 10 weeks. Johnny Mundt and Jacob Hollister are the only other tight ends on the Vikings roster.
The rumors of a possible trade consisting Hockenson were buzzing last week. With his rookie contract ending in 2023 decisions needed to be made. Next year, his fifth season, he is set to make $9.362 million, which is fully guaranteed. He responded to trade rumors last week.
“Listen, I’m not stupid, I know what I can bring to another team and I know here that they could, if they want something, if they want to do things for the future then I’m not stupid in that sense,” Hockenson said to David Birkett of Detroit Free Press last week($) “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 naive in that fact.”
T.J. Hockenson’s Stats in Detroit
Hockenson was a first-round pick for the Lions back in the 2019 NFL Draft. He finishes his career in Detroit with 186 receptions for 2,068 yards and 15 TD’s. In terms of the Lions’ depth chart, Brock Wright, was out on Sunday due to concussion protocol, which leaves rookie James Mitchell as the only healthy TE on the roster. Mitchell was drafted in the 5th round out of Virginia Tech.
The tight end posted his goodbye to Detroit on Instagram with the caption:
“Detroit, I can’t tell you how appreciative I am to this city and fan base for accepting me and my family from the start. All the teammates and coaches that I’ve been w/ here have helped me every step of the way.”
View this post on Instagram
Additional Roster Moves
Other than the Hockenson trade, the Lions were relatively quiet. The only other roster move they made was adding safety Brady Breeze back to the Practice Squad. Breeze was waived with injury status by the Lions back in August after suffering an injury in the preseason opener. The safety played in 4 games with the Detroit Lions last season after he was picked up off waivers from the Tennessee Titans.
Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter
On Twitter: @madelynvmillerr
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