In the past, the NFL trade deadline was a pretty ho-hum day in the league’s calendar. But, in recent years, trades have become more prevalent throughout the league as players are looking to get to better situations for themselves and teams look to maximize the value that they have. One team that was active at the trade deadline this year was the Minnesota Vikings.
This year’s deadline was reminiscent of the ones we would normally see from the NBA and MLB. There were several trades completed and some of them would qualify as major as Pro Bowlers, All-Pros and a ton of draft picks were on the move leading up to the Tuesday deadline.
One of the biggest moves that were made was an inter-divisional trade between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings. Looking to bolster their offense for the stretch run of the season and shore up their tight end position with Irv Smith Jr. suffering an ankle sprain against the Arizona Cardinals that is expected to keep him sidelined for multiple weeks, Minnesota acquired T.J. Hockenson.
Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-round pick and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick are heading to the Vikings in exchange for a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick. It is a significant move for a Vikings team that is currently running away in the NFC North with a 6-1 record while the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers are tied for second at 3-5.
Making an appearance on the Colin Cowherd Show, Albert Breer shared some insight on the deal. He believes this shows just how committed Minnesota is to winning this year, sending a message to the players.
“It’s a great indicator on where the Vikings are… The guys in that locker room, this is an implicit message to them.”
Hockenson should thrive as a complementary piece alongside Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, working in the middle of the field. He showed just how dominant he could be when he exploded for 179 yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions in Week 4 against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Vikings are hoping they aren’t even in a position needing to rely on Hockenson to that extent as the Lions were without multiple receivers including Amon-Ra St. Brown in that game. But, it is nice knowing that they have someone in the fold now at the tight-end position that can provide excellent production when called upon.