The Lions are nevertheless in the thick of a rebuild as they seem to climb out of the NFC North cellar, but they are convinced they have received at minimum a person prolonged-phrase building block presently in the lineup. With 2022 schooling camp all over the corner, Detroit is anticipated to prioritize a agreement extension for Pro Bowl limited stop T.J. Hockenson in the coming months, in accordance to ESPN.
Hockenson, drafted No. 8 general in 2019, is already tied to the Lions by means of 2023, right after Detroit exercised his $9.4 million fifth-calendar year possibility this spring. But he is emerged as one of the team’s most trustworthy weapons, primarily above his very last two seasons, and could quickly be rewarded as these kinds of. His general performance due to the fact 2020, in truth, could very nicely make him a single of the game’s best-paid gamers at his place.
In the occasion Hockenson and the Lions strike a new offer before — or early in — the 2022 time, the previous Iowa standout could fairly hope to typical roughly $13.7+ million for every year, earning him a person of the major 5 greatest-compensated restricted finishes in the NFL.
Whilst Hockenson probable will not eclipse the typical yearly earnings of elite names like George Kittle ($15M) and Travis Kelce ($14.3M), who direct the tight stop marketplace thanks to multiple 1,000-property outings, he’s been just as, if not extra, effective as a pass catcher than 4 of the 5 veterans who gain around $12M for each year at the posture, as observed in the numbers:
Aside from Kelce and Kittle, only the Ravens’ Mark Andrews, not depicted higher than, helps make additional than $12M per 12 months and has much exceeded Hockenson’s regular quantities, having logged three straight 700-garden seasons as Baltimore’s best go concentrate on. The Cowboys’ Dalton Schultz and Dolphins’ Mike Gesicki have also teased higher statistical ceilings, but they are at this time slated to perform 2022 below the franchise tag ($10.9M) right after failing to strike prolonged-phrase discounts, presumably mainly because they (rightfully) check out them selves as capable of their personal prime-five tight-stop contracts.
Njoku’s for every-calendar year earnings, stemming from a 4-12 months, $56.75M extension signed this offseason, stand out as the most viable starting up issue for Hockenson negotiations. Like Hockenson, Njoku is a previous initially-rounder, with inherently significant expectations, and he is equally flashed prime-10 talent in his ideal NFL time whilst battling accidents (Hockenson skipped 5 video games in 2021 due to thumb surgical procedures, whilst Njoku has missed 16 distinctive online games around the final 3 yrs). The Lions standout is both equally more youthful and a a lot more reputable receiver consequently far, on the other hand, strengthening his catch percentage in each of his NFL seasons.
It stands to reason, then, that if the Lions are genuinely dedicated to securing Hockenson sooner rather than later, he’ll be 1 of their more substantial homegrown investments in recent memory.