- Considered a "hold-in" during this preseason, the Minnesota Vikings and star tight end T.J. Hockenson have struck a long-term deal that will make him one of the highest paid at the position in the NFL.
According to ESPN senior NFL insider Adam Schefter, Hockenson signed a four-year extension worth $68.5 million. Along with having the highest average annual salary for a tight end in NFL history, Hockenson also set the NFL tight end record with $42.5 million in guaranteed money.
Compensation update: TJ Hockenson is signing a four-year, $68.5 million contract extension that resets the tight end market, source tells ESPN. The $17.125 million annual average and $42 .5 million guarantee are the highest for a tight end in NFL history. https://t.co/v33TTeeS4D
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2023
Hockenson was a trade deadline deal last season, which sent him from the team that drafted him, the Detroit Lions, to a division rival in the Vikings.
Prior to his NFL career, Hockenson was a dynamic playmaker for the Iowa Hawkeyes, making plays for the Big Ten program alongside fellow tight end Noah Fant. His 2018 season led him to winning the John Mackey Award for the nation's top tight end, catching 46 passes for 717 yards and six touchdowns.
Following a strong final season at Iowa, Hockenson was taken by the Lions with the eighth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. While he showed flashes of greatness in Detroit, the former Hawkeyes tight end was never able to have the kind of impact that warranted a top-10 pick for the Lions.
Following his midseason trade to Minnesota, Hockenson saw 86 targets caught 60 for 519 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings. Through seven games with the Lions before getting traded, he saw 43 targets and caught 26 of them for 395 yards and three scores.
Throughout the preseason, Hockenson had been dealing with back pain and an ear infection, but some debated whether this was part of the "hold-in" strategy.
T.J. Hockenson had been dealing with an ear infection and back pain for the last month. The injuries appeared to be part of his "hold in" in order to get this new contract. He now gets his deal and the team gets their top tight end for next week.
— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) August 31, 2023
The Vikings and Hockenson now look to their Week 1 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where Hockenson will be in action.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.