Vikings acquire tight end T.J. Hockenson from Lions

Vikings acquire tight end T.J. Hockenson from Lions originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Minnesota Vikings just made a move with one of their biggest rivals.

The team acquired tight end T.J. Hockenson from the Detroit Lions just hours before the 2022 NFL trade deadline. Minnesota announced it sent a 2023 second-rounder and 2024 third-rounder to Detroit for Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-rounder and a 2024 conditional fourth-rounder:

Hockenson became a Pro Bowler in 2020, his second NFL season after being selected No. 8 overall by Detroit in the 2019 draft. 

After missing five games in 2021, Hockenson had been on the field each week for the Lions this season, collecting 26 receptions for 395 receiving yards and three touchdowns. His best game came in Week 4, where he hauled in eight receptions for 179 yards and two scores in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Lions are 1-6 this year and would earn the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft if the season ended right now. The Vikings, meanwhile, are sitting comfortably atop the NFC North with a 6-1 record and are riding a five-game winning streak. Hockenson is an especially key pickup for the team after tight end Irv Smith Jr. suffered an ankle injury in Minnesota’s win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Hockenson will not just be a half-season rental for Minnesota, either. The fourth-year tight end is under contract with a $9.392 salary in 2023 before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2024.

This is the second marquee transaction between the two franchises this year. Detroit traded three picks to Minnesota in April to move up to No. 12 in the draft and select Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams.

Hockenson won’t have to wait long to revisit his old stomping grounds with his new team. The Vikings will face the Lions in Detroit on Dec. 11 for a Week 14 matchup.