The 1-5 Lions living in the cellar could be a seller at the trade deadline, and one of those names is tight end TJ Hockenson.
Hockenson, a fourth-year player on contract through 2023, understands the chatter.
“Look, I’m not stupid, I know what I can bring to another team, I know they can, if they want something, if they want to do something for the future, then I’m not in that sense. Not stupid, Hockenson recently told Dave Birkett Detroit Free Press, via SI.com. “It’s a business, and whatever they do upstairs, they’re going to do it. But it’s not – there’s nothing bad about it. No, ‘Hey, I personally don’t like him’ or anything about that. That’s it. So I’m not stupid or naive about that fact.”
Hockenson said he wants to stay with the Lions, and it makes sense for the Lions to keep as many good players as possible. The question becomes whether and to what extent they are willing to reward him with a big deal before his rookie deal expires.
He will earn $9.362 million next year. The fifth year option is fully guaranteed.
Hockenson had a solid 2022 game with eight catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns against the Seahawks. In Detroit’s other five games, he had 15 catches for 136 yards and one touchdown.
Maybe teams, players and new teams would be better off with him if they didn’t use him a lot. That way, the Lions can stock up on a draft pick or two for their inevitable next reboot.