5th Year option for Hockenson--$9,392,000 fully guaranteed for 2023

It was revealed on Monday that Hockenson would earn $9,392,000 in fully guaranteed monies in 2023 if his fifth-year option was picked up after earning a berth in the Pro Bowl.

Detroit Lions salary cap news fifth-year option cost T.J. Hockenson - Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions News, Analysis and More.

To put that in perspective, TE salaries for 2022:

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10th highest, just above Kyle Pitts.

Can’t help but think that drafting a TE that high is a mistake (and that drafting one at 4 was obviously a bigger mistake).


So 10th-highest-paid TE in the league. Personally I’d work on a long-term deal with him rather than use the 5th year option - I’m pretty sure at this point we want to keep him - but it’ll probably be in the same ballpark.


I’ve been saying that for ages–here and on the old boards.

Lions could have traded down with Pittsburgh to No. 20 overall, and picked up a 2d, No. 52 in 2019, and a 2020 3rd Rd pick to boot. Lions could’ve gotten Noah Fant, who as a receiver, has been on the same level as Hock, for much less money.

That’s why positional value matters.


I have no problem with Hock being the 10th highest paid TE in the league. That’s fair for both parties. There are plenty of Lions draft picks to complain about, PLENTY, but Hock isn’t one for me. I get the positional value argument and I do not disagree or dismiss that at all - but at least they hit on Hock. Hopefully they sign him longer term soon with his value not super high, then watch him blow up during the rebuild and be a perennial Pro Bowler.


Agree with all of this

I think Hock is only scratching the surface of his potential. It’s been injuries that have really slowed down his production. He was put on injured reserve in both his rookie season and his 3rd season. When he played a full 16 games, he was a pro bowler.


Gesicki and Schultz both franchise tagged…
Njoku was tagged by the Browns prior. So that’s three TEs tagged.

All getting $10.913 M on the tag.

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TEs selected in the top 10 who have made Pro Bowls:

Kyle Pitts–drafted in 2021, Rd 1, No. 4 overall–2021 Pro Bowl (presumably, the first of many for the unicorn)
TJ Hockenson–drafted in 2019, Rd 1, No. 8 overall–2020 Pro Bowl (only one)
Eric Ebron–drafted in 2014, Rd 1, No. 10 overall–2018 Pro Bowl (only one)

2021 Pro Bowl TEs

Pitts, plus
Mark Andrews–drafted in 2018, Rd 3, No. 86 overall
Travis Kelce–drafted in 2013, Rd 3, No. 63 overall
George Kittle–drafted in 2017, Rd 5, No. 146 overall

2020 Pro Bowl TEs

Kelce & Hock, plus
Darren Waller–drafted in 2015, Rd 6, No. 204 overall
Evan Engram–drafted in 2017, Rd 1, No. 23 overall

2019 Pro Bowl TEs

Andrews, Kittle, Kelce plus
Zach Ertz, drafted in 2013, Rd 2, No. 34 overall
Jared Cook, drafted in 2009, Rd 3, No. 89 overall
Jack Doyle, undrafted in 2013

2018 Pro Bowl TEs

Kelce, Kittle, Cook, Ertz, Ebron, plus
Austin Hooper, drafted in 2016, Rd 3, No. 81 overall

2017 Pro Bowl TEs

Kelce, Ertz, Doyle, plus
Gronkowski, drafted in 2010, Rd 2, No. 42 overall
Delanie Walker, drafted in 2006, Rd 6, No. 175 overall
Jimmy Graham, drafted in 2005, Rd 3, No. 95 overall
Kyle Rudolph, drafted in 2011, Rd 2, No. 43 overall
Jason Witten, drafted in 2003, Rd 3, No. 69 overall

At least at the TE position, if they wanted, the odds are high the Lions could replace Hockenson production with a day two pick and pay the player a whole lot less.

Gesicki, 2018, Rd 2, No. 42 overall
Schultz, 2018, Rd 4, No. 137 overall
Njoku, 2017, Rd 1, No. 29 overall

Still getting paid now though.

Gotta believe last year was an aberration for Hockenson’s production. The cupboard was bare around him.

The Lions can cut bait if needed after his rookie contract is up.

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What was looking like a deep TE free agency is getting thinner but I still think there’s some good options out there.

Both the WR and TE market are looking reaaaaaaaaaaally thin

I agree, pretty disappointed in what’s left out there at WR and TE. If the Lions trade down I can see them drafting a couple recievers with a couple extra picks.

Some of you fans ae so cheap yet whine about not having quality players. When we get a quality player you want to unload him for bargain basement replacement.

You want to win you need quality top end players an keep them an draft well an pick up few top end players to put you over the top.

Not deal away players at top to find cheaper.
The best way is work out extension which i think they will.

Look what they did will trading are Safety to Sea Hawks an many of same guys still whining about the trade an yes you should complain.

You want cheap an over pay for what you don’t know or for players that over value there ability then you will not win on regular bases would be same as pass to many years to count.


Couldn’t agree more with ya. You must pay for quality. Yes, he has not been an all pro every year, but very solid. Health is the issue to me, can he stay healthy. I believe he can if he’s not your number 1 option on offense/your only option on offense.

I think picking up Hock’s 5th year option is a no-brainer for the Lions. You get at least 1 more season with him at a reasonable price while you try to work out a long term deal. If you can’t come to an agreement, you can let him walk or look for a trade.

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In the context of what he’s paid now, it’s not that much of a bump up for 2023:

T.J. Hockenson

Hockenson, entering his fourth season in the league, is signed with the team through 2022 as part of his rookie contract, and carries with him a cap hit of $6,506,754 in 2022.

He has $6,306,754 remaining in guaranteed salary.

The Lions need another TE and, depending on how the draft falls, probably should draft one with the comp pick for Golladay.

My indirect point is that the Lions have had two different front offices in the past decade who thought it was a good idea to draft a TE in the top 10. Obviously, with the exception of Pitts, whose almost a big WR, other teams don’t do that.

Right, and there’s a distinction between our picking up his 5th year option and the those other teams tagging their TE’s.

We have hock for 22 and now 23.

They’re just locking their guys down for 2022.

If we wanted Hock to play on the tag, that wouldn’t have to happen until 2024.

Of course, you know all this, but I’m just bringing it out because it’d be easy to get lost in the chatter.