Vikings acquire key player in rare trade with division rival
Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr is expected to miss an extended period after he suffered an ankle injury on Sunday, but the team has found a great replacement for him.
The Vikings have acquired tight end TJ Hockenson in a trade with the NFC North rival Detroit Lions, according to multiple reports. ESPN’s Adam Schefter had the full terms of the deal:
Trade terms, source tells ESPN:
🏈Vikings get TE T.J. Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-round pick and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick.
🏈Lions get 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 1, 2022
Schefter also reported that Smith will be sidelined for 8-10 weeks, which is likely why the Vikings made the trade.
Hockenson, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, has played a key role in Detroit’s offense since he entered the league. He has 26 catches for 395 yards and three touchdowns this season. The former Iowa star had 61 catches last year and a career-high 67 on a whopping 101 targets in 2020.
ESPN Stats & Info noted that Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has not been very effective while targeting tight ends this season. The team is likely hoping Hockenson can help with that. It is also interesting to point out that it has been nearly 25 years since the Lions last made a trade within their own division.
The Lions had not made an intradivision trade involving a player since 1998, when they traded RB Glyn Milburn to the Packers for a draft pick.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 1, 2022
The Lions fell to 1-6 with their loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. They are, once again, quickly fading from playoff contention. Minnesota improved to 6-1 with a win over the Arizona Cardinals.