TRADE: Vikings Acquire T.J. Hockenson in Blockbuster Deal

Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson. © Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Well, the first big domino of NFL trade deadline day has officially fallen. The Minnesota Vikings have acquired T.J. Hockenson in a blockbuster deal with the Detroit Lions.

The deal includes the Vikings sending Detroit their second-round pick in 2023 and their third-round pick in 2024. Meanwhile, the Vikings get Hockenson, Detroit’s 2023 fourth-round pick, and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick. Detroit also likely pays Hockenson much of his salary in 2022.

The Vikings have had a need for tight end all season long, and that need only grew with Irv Smith Jr. going down on Sunday with a high ankle sprain. Hockenson fills that need and more as one of the best receiving tight ends in the NFL.

Through seven games of the 2022 season, he has caught 26 passes for 395 yards and three touchdowns. The Lions also exercised his fifth-year option for 2023, so the Vikings have contract control of Hockenson through next season.

Hockenson is exactly what the Vikings had hoped what Irv Smith would become this year. He is an athletic tight end with sure hands, and he is adept as a blocker as well. Additionally, a 6’5 target in the red zone should be a great luxury for Kirk Cousins to throw to.

The message from the Minnesota Vikings with this move is clear: they believe that they can be a contender this season with no true leader in the NFC. Minnesota needed a presence at tight end, and they have it.

We should get to see Hockenson in action this Sunday as the Vikings head to Washington to take on the Commanders. That game is scheduled for 12 PM CST on Sunday, November 6th.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.