Vikings Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson agrees to contract extension
Minnesota Vikings sign tight end T.J. Hockenson to contract extension. Hockenson had an impressive season in 2020 and is expected to start in the season opener.
The Minnesota Vikings have reached an agreement on a contract extension with tight end T.J. Hockenson, solidifying their offense for the future. Hockenson, who was originally drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2019, has proven himself as a two-time Pro Bowl selection. The Vikings acquired him in a trade last year, and he had an impressive season with 60 catches for 519 yards in just 10 games. His total receiving yards for the season reached a career high of 914.
Despite dealing with some health issues during training camp, Hockenson remained committed to his team and denied any influence from his contract negotiations. Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah emphasized that there was a process that needed to be followed, and Hockenson's extension was a part of that process. Fortunately, Hockenson has made progress in his recovery and is expected to be in the starting lineup for the season opener against Tampa Bay.
In order to acquire Hockenson, the Vikings traded a 2023 second-round draft pick and a 2024 third-round draft pick to the Lions. They also received two draft picks in return, including a fourth-round pick in 2023 and a conditional pick in 2024. With Hockenson now secured for the long term, the Vikings can shift their focus to another important contract negotiation with wide receiver Justin Jefferson. While Jefferson still has two years left on his rookie deal, the Vikings understand the significance of keeping him on their team and will work towards a favorable extension.
During a joint news conference, coach Kevin O'Connell announced the eight team captains for the upcoming season. The captains include Jefferson, quarterback Kirk Cousins, fullback C.J. Ham, right tackle Brian O'Neill, outside linebacker Danielle Hunter, linebacker Jordan Hicks, safety Harrison Smith, and safety and special teams ace Josh Metellus. Cousins was unanimously chosen by his teammates, further highlighting his leadership qualities.
In terms of special teams, running back Kene Nwangwu is currently on injured reserve due to a lower back injury. As a result, O'Connell revealed that Ty Chandler will take on the role of primary kickoff returner, with Alexander Mattison as the starting running back. The team also added Myles Gaskin for additional depth while Nwangwu recovers.
Overall, the Vikings have made significant moves to secure their key players and strengthen their roster for the upcoming season. With Hockenson's contract extension and the potential extension for Jefferson, the team is demonstrating their commitment to building a successful and competitive team. The captains chosen for the season reflect the leadership and talent within the team, while the adjustments made to the special teams ensure that the Vikings are prepared for any challenges they may face.