The Minnesota Vikings made a huge splash at last year’s NFL trade deadline and are making it even more worthwhile.
The Vikings inked tight end T.J. Hockenson to a four-year, $68.5 million extension, with $42.5 million guaranteed.
The guaranteed money is the most for a tight end in NFL history.
The Vikings acquired Hockenson from the division rival Detroit Lions last season and immediately made him a huge part of their already stout offense. In his first four games with his new team, he caught 26 passes, an NFL record at the position.
The University of Iowa product finished with career-highs with 86 receptions and 914 yards, and his six touchdowns tied the most he’s had in a single season.
Hockenson will be in Minnesota for a long time as part of possibly the best outside weapon corps in the sport. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson is the defending Offensive Player of the Year, and the rookie on the opposite side, Jordan Addison, is a sleeper candidate to rack up 1,000 yards.
The Vikings released running back Dalvin Cook, but Alexander Mattison has filled his shoes.
The Lions selected Hockenson with the eighth overall pick in 2019. In 57 career games, he’s caught 246 passes for 2,587 yards, scoring 18 touchdowns.
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Minnesota went 13-4 last season, but because of their point differential (minus-3 despite their record), many thought they were pretenders. It turned out those critics were correct. They lost to the New York Giants in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Hockenson caught 10 passes for 129 yards in the game.
Despite their issues on the defensive side of the ball, there’s no question the Minnesota offense will again be a force.
The Vikings open up their season Sept. 10 hosting the Tom Brady-less Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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