T.J. Hockenson Nukes The Lions On His Way Out The Door

TJ Hockenson has been in the NFL since 2019 and hasn’t been winning much since.

The tight end, drafted in the first round by the Detroit Lions, was traded to the Minnesota Vikings ahead of this season’s trade deadline.

During a media session with his new team on Wednesday, Hockenson delivered a line on joining a winning culture in Minnesota that couldn’t help but sound like a verbal spar at the Lions … which is warranted given that they are the Lions.

Detroit sent Hockenson (including a 2023 fourth-round pick and conditional 2024 fourth-round pick) to the Vikings for a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round draft pick.

LIONS TRADE T.J. HOCKENSON TO MINNESOTA

Hockenson sounded pretty ecstatic to be out of the Motor City, telling reporters the following on his trade: “That’s really what we’re here to do is go somewhere and win some games. That’s kind of the first time I’ve been able to say that.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 30: T.J. Hockenson #88 of the Detroit Lions runs for a first down during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Ford Field on October 30, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

“I’m excited to be back in the midwest. They call Michigan the midwest, but this is really the true midwest,” Hockenson, who played at the University of Iowa, added.

This season, Hock amassed 26 receptions for 395 yards and three touchdowns for Detroit’s Jared Goff-led offense. Hockenson appeared in 54 career games for the Lions. His rapport with former Lions QB Matthew Stafford led to a Pro Bowl campaign in 2020.

Hockenson’s trade was one of the more unexpected moves ahead of the deadline, which Detroit surrendering a key player on the offense in what appears to be a “rebuild” move. The Lions have fully bought in to head coach Dan Campbell’s regime, which has paid dividends on offense this season, but the team still finds itself dead last in the NFC North with a dreadful 1-6 record.

Lions general manager Brad Holmes spoke with reporters regarding the trade and said he was set on it no matter the current record.

“This move was not reflective of our record,” Holmes stated. “If our record was reversed and it made sense for us, then we would have still done it. So it wasn’t anything of that nature, but it made sense for us and we just move forward.”

The pastures are truly greener for Hockenson. He joins a 6-1 Vikings squad that is well on its way to winning the North. Hockenson’s inclusion is expected to be integral to Kevin O’Connel and Kirk Cousins’ offense — joining elite skill players Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen.

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Written by Alejandro Avila

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