The Detroit Lions have already announced they are using their fifth-year option on TE T.J. Hockenson, which will keep him around through the 2023 season, but by the time the current offseason wraps up, he could be locked up for much longer.
Most seem to believe the Lions will offer Hockenson a contract extension prior to the start of the 2022 season, while others believe it would not be wise to give him a mega deal.
On Tuesday, Hockenson spoke to the media and he talked about the contracts that tight ends like Mark Andrews (four years, $56 million with Ravens), Dallas Goedert (four years, $57 million with Eagles), and David Njoku (four years, $55 million with Browns) recently signed and he said it's not about the money, it's about winning.
“That's a lot of money,” he said Tuesday as the Lions opened mandatory minicamp. “That’s life-changing. I'm already in a situation where my life has changed, so really what I want to do is win. That's really all I care about. Money is one thing, but when it hits the bank account doesn't really matter to me. I just want to make this place a winning program.”
T.J. Hockenson says he will sign his deal when the time is right
While speaking to the media, Hock made it pretty clear that he really is not involved with hammering out a contract extension with the Lions and that he is letting his agent handle the business side of things..
“Honestly, I let my agent deal with that. I'm not very good with the business side of things,” he said with a laugh. “Guys tell me what I should make, what I shouldn't make, and I'm like, ‘I don't really care.' I'm going to play between the white lines, and whatever happens will happen. I don't really deal much with that. I told my agent, ‘You do your thing, and I'll do my thing.' That's kind of where it's at. I don't really know much, I don't really care to know much.
“I'm just here every day to play with my teammates, and when that time comes to sign a piece of paper, I'll do that.”
Winning is the most important thing
Hockenson reiterated that winning is all that matters to him and that he wants to do that with the Lions.
“I want to win,” he reiterated. “That’s the biggest thing. And I want to win here, a lot. I do love Michigan, I do love Detroit, I’ve been around here my whole career. And being around these fans and around the community that they are, they really build around us, good and bad. But the biggest thing is, I’ve spent the last three years going through the grind, and it’s great. You have to have that. On the same hand, just winning is in the back of my mind and I want to do that here so bad. I really do. As a player, as a competitor, that’s all you want to do. That’s all that matters: put me in a major situation and I’m going to win.
“That’s always been my mentality and guys in here can rely on me to do that. That’s the whole mentality that I want and the whole mentality that these guys want in the building. I just want to win. We don’t care about much else as long as our score is above theirs. And I want that here.”
Nation, do you think Hockenson will sign a contract extension with the Lions? If so, how much money do you think he will get?