The Detroit Lions opted for TJ Hockneson’s fifth-year tight end option, the team announced on Tuesday. As Hockenson had already completed the Pro Bowl in his early career, his fifth year option has slightly increased. The additional year will cost the Lions $ 9.4 million guaranteed wages.
Hockenson, eighth overall in the team’s NFL Draft 2019 standings, has been the main element of the Lviv attack since he came onto the pitch. Although he only had 367 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie season, he immediately jumped into production the following year, scoring 67 passes for 723 yards and six touchdowns on his way to his first Pro Bowl. He nearly surpassed these stats in his 2021 campaign, but a thumb injury shortened his season.
Earlier in the off-season, Lions CEO Brad Holmes noted that they were discussing the extension option internally to Hockenson. He noted that if they did not get an extension by the fifth year option deadline (May 2), they would use that option.
“If the (extension) did not happen, we would intend to exercise this option for the fifth year,” said Holmes.
Of course, the Lions still have a chance to extend Hockenson beyond 2023. To understand how much Detroit could cost, Zach Ertz signed a three-year contract worth $ 31.7 million off-season, while Jonnu Smith signed a four-year deal worth $ 50 million last season. You would expect $ 10 to $ 14 million a year for a new deal.
With Lions using this option for a fifth year, they now have an extra year to negotiate with the 24-year-old.