We Should Probably Stop with the T.J. Hockenson Conspiracy Theories

T.J. Hockenson
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings front office has affirmed all offseason its desire to extend the contracts of Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson.

Both players have endorsed long-term stays in Minnesota, but no ink has been put to paper as of late August.

We Should Probably Stop with the T.J. Hockenson Conspiracy Theories

So, folks have wondered, “What’s the hold-up?” Anytime either man gets in front of a microphone, it’s the same story. Jefferson and Hockenson are asked about their contracts, they say the money will eventually arrive, and then folks sit back and wonder if there’s deeper meaning.

It’s a bizarre cycle.

Probably Stop
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

On Hockenson, he’s dealt with an ear infection, keeping him off the practice field, at times, for a while during the last couple of weeks. And, of course, some claim that a conspiracy is present the tight end is staging a hold-in, or so goes the theory.

The theory, though, just doesn’t check out. One would have to believe Hockenson is straight-up lying to absorb the postulation as truth.

Hockenson Chatter
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Hockenson said this week about remaining on the sidelines with the ear infection, “It sucks, but it is what it is. It’s really just making me want to be out there more with the guys. I’ll be ready to go in September, and that’s really when I need to be.”

Does that sound like someone playing hardball with a hold-in at training camp? If so, it’s an utterly terrible facade.

He was also point-blank asked if he was staying off the field because of disgruntlement with his contract extension situation. He replied, “No, that’s not my focus. My focus is to be out here with these guys on Sept. 9 or whatever it is. Be ready for September and be ready for game day on Sunday.”

Kirk Cousins Evidently
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Hockenson also added the status of his long-term deal, “I don’t really know. I keep that between my agent and the guys upstairs, so, like I say, that’s not really my focus. It’ll play out. Not really what I’m focused on. Just focused on football right now and getting out here, being ready to go.”

In May, the same topic emerged, and Hockenson opined, “That’s not really anything I’m focused on. I mean, it is what it is. I think that’s no secret that that’s coming up, but that’s not a focus that I’m worried about. I’m just out here playing football, having fun with the guys, really enjoying the city of Minneapolis and trying to get around these fans.”

Vikings TE Gets
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports.

“This is a place obviously I want to be, and everything needs to work out. I hope to be here for a long time, but on the same hand, it is a business, and there’s a side to that. Again, I don’t look at that, but it’s great to be here right now,” the 26-year-old said in May.

The man isn’t mad. He isn’t ornery. He isn’t holding in or holding out. He’s battling an ear infection and is preparing for Week 1 as his for-sure return date.

Spitballing otherwise blatantly disregards his words about the subject and even implies he’s telling half-truths.

The conspiracy theories don’t even connect any dots.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.