T.J. Hockenson has become the NFL's highest-paid tight end. While the details of his new detail with the Vikings were not made public, sources revealed them to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Hockenson will make $68.5 million over the next four years, with $42.5 million of the contract guaranteed. The Vikings acquired Hockenson, widely considered one of the best tight ends in the league, in the middle of the 2022 season. Furthermore, Hockenson quickly became one of Kirk Cousins' favorite targets, putting up 519 yards on 60 receptions. "He fits our culture," Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said. "He's the type of player we want in Minnesota. I'm really excited to get it done."
Furthermore, head coach Kevin O'Connell also extolled the impact of the 26-year-old. "Our hopes were that we were acquiring a player that would become a major part of our offense moving forward," O'Connell said. "We saw the immediate impact over those 10 games -- 11 games. We've been able to build on T.J.'s role here, and really have a great process in the offseason of what it's really going to look like in our offensive system for a major player like T.J. to be a part of it."
Vikings Look To Hockenson, Jefferson In Make-Or-Break Year
Hockenson has missed significant portions of training camp. However, it is believed that he will be ready for the Vikings' season opener against the Buccaneers. He will play a crucial role in a Vikings team that is looking to prove that they are a bona fide contender. Furthermore, with Aaron Rodgers no longer a division rival, the team will look to become the new Kings of the (NFC) North. The Vikings last won consecutive division titles in 2008 and 2009. Additionally, locking up Hockenson on a long-term deal means that the only major outstanding contract is Justin Jefferson, whose rookie deal runs through 2024.
Cousins once again finds himself in a contract year. The Vikings even drafted a potential successor in BYU's Jaren Hall. However, with Hockenson, Jefferson, and rookie Jordan Addison at his disposal, Cousins could secure his purple future for a while longer. "I don't think there was ever any sense of quid pro quo or anything like that. … I know there is a business aspect to things and, ultimately, I can't tell you anything for certain," Adofo-Mensah said of the deal. "But I didn't view it as that at all. I felt like there was a process that needed to play out and ultimately it ended up here, and we're excited about that."