Mystery Dwindles on T.J. Hockenson’s Future

Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

Tight end T.J. Hockenson will be connected to the Minnesota Vikings for the long term. It’s just a matter of signing the document.

There is no mystery about Hockenson’s future, and this is attributable to a credible source — Hockenson personally.

Mystery Dwindles on T.J. Hockenson’s Future

Hockenson’s rookie contract runs out after 2023, so no matter what happens, this is an after-2023 situation. He’s very much financially committed this season, with the rest of his purple and gold story awaiting a signature.

Mystery Dwindles on
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings kicked off organized team activities this week (OTAs), and Hockenson spoke to reporters about his future. “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,” Hockenson said.

The 25-year-old grabbed 60 receptions in 10 games as a Viking, a pace fetching 102 catches if spanned to a 17-game season. The 60 receptions were also the most in NFL history by a tight end in his first 10 games with a franchise:

Most Receptions by a TE,
First 10 Games with a Franchise,
Since 1970:

  1. T.J. Hockenson, MIN (60)
  2. Kellen Winslow, CLE (56)
  3. Keith Jackson, PHI (54)
  4. Tony Gonzalez, KC (52)
  5. Jermaine Wiggins, MIN (51)
Only 2 Options
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Hockenson continued, “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.”

When the deal is complete, Hockenson will likely earn $15+ million per season, matching or exceeding contracts belonging to Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce and the San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle.

The Vikings 2022 Offense by the Numbers: After Week 11
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

VikingsTerritory’s Sean Borman tweeted near the start of the 2023 offseason, “Hockenson is due to earn $9.392M this year on his 5th-year option. An extension would lower his 2023 cap hit. The likely floor for a potential deal: $13.687M per year, what David Njoku agreed to in 2022.”

Editor of PurplePTSD.comJosh Frey, predicts Hockenson’s deal to involve four years and $56 million, guaranteeing Hockenson a spot on the Vikings roster through the end of 2027.

Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders is the NFL’s highest-paid tight end, netting a cool $17 million per year. You should reasonably expect Hockenson’s next contract to notch $13-$17 million per season — and the deal should get done at any minute.

The Vikings currently have about $9.5 million in cap space, but ‘Hockenson’s money’ won’t affect the budget until next year. Extensions are also likely for wide receiver Justin Jefferson and perhaps outside linebacker Danielle Hunter.

Hockenson will turn 26 on July 3rd.

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