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Breaking down the T.J. Hockenson trade: Roster, financial impacts

Breaking down everything you need to know about the T.J. Hockenson trade for the Detroit Lions.

Seattle Seahawks v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions drove further into rebuilding mode on Tuesday afternoon, sending tight end T.J. Hockenson and a couple of fourth-round picks to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a second-round pick and a future third-round pick.

On the surface, it’s a shocking move for a team that is lacking good, young talent. Hockenson is just 25 years old, and has regularly ranked in the top 10 in receiving yards among tight ends over his 3.5 seasons in Detroit.

But Hockenson was also barreling towards a potentially expensive contract extension, and it may be one the Lions were not willing to pay. Given his decreased target share this season, it’s entirely possible Detroit believed their offense wouldn’t be noticeably impacted by this trade in the long term—especially with even younger options in Brock Wright (23 years old) and James Mitchell (23) showing some early promise.

There’s also a positive when it comes to cap space. Detroit clears over $9 million in next year’s cap because of the move, and it’s clear Detroit could use some of that money that would’ve been spent on an already-decent offense, and move it to the defensive side of the ball with a much-needed veteran signing.

In the immediate aftermath of the trade—we’re talking less than an hour after the news broke—myself (Jeremy) and Erik Schlitt jumped on the podcast to discuss the trade from all of these angles and more. You can catch our 30-minute discussion below:

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