The closet-dwelling 1-5 Lions could be sellers at the trade deadline, and one of the names making the rounds is tight end TJ Hockenson.
Hockenson, a fourth-year player under contract through 2023, understands the rumors.
“Listen, I’m not stupid, I know what I can bring to another team and I know you can here, if you want something, if you want to do things in the future, then I’m not stupid. ” Hockenson recently told Dave Birkett. Detroit Free Press, via SI.com. “It’s a business and they do everything they do upstairs. And that’s not it – no hard feelings about it. Nothing about that, ‘Hey, I personally don’t like it’ or anything. It’s just like that. So I am not dumb or naive to this fact.
Hockenson said he wants to stay with the Lions, and it makes sense for the Lions to keep as many good players as they can. The question is whether and how much they will be willing to reward him with a big contract before his rookie deal expires.
It should make $9.362 million next year. The fifth year option is fully guaranteed.
Hockenson had one great game in 2022, catching eight passes for 179 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Seahawks. He has 15 catches for 136 yards and one touchdown in five other games in Detroit.
If you don’t use him regularly, maybe the team and player and new team will be better off with him. That way, the Lions can stockpile a draft pick or two for their next reboot.