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Report: Vikings, T.J. Hockenson “far apart” in contract extension talks

The tight end apparently wants to reset the market

NFL: JAN 15 NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Giants at Vikings Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings have a lot of significant contracts to deal with here in the near future, and one of those belongs to tight end T.J. Hockenson. Hockenson, who is still on his rookie contract, was acquired by the Vikings at the trade deadline last season and quickly established himself as one of the most productive tight ends in the league upon his arrival in Minnesota.

The team has been engaged in contract talks with Hockenson and his camp, but it doesn’t appear to be going terribly well.

According to Dianna Russini, the new lead NFL insider for The Athletic, the Vikings and Hockenson are “far apart” on the terms of a contract extension. Hockenson reportedly wants to reset the tight end market, according to Russini.

Hockenson is a very good tight end, and I don’t think you’re going to find anyone that’s going to argue that he isn’t. However, he might be caught in a bit of a crunch for the Vikings given that the team is soon going to give wide receiver Justin Jefferson a contract extension that will almost certainly reset that market, and we’re to the stage where a long-term extension for left tackle Christian Darrisaw is going to become a necessity, too.

In the case of Darrisaw, the Vikings will be able to start getting into contract extension talks with him this next offseason as players can’t do extensions until they’ve played at least three years of their rookie deal. Given the value of the left tackle position around the league, you can bet that’s not going to be a cheap deal, either.

So, that leaves Hockenson, who almost certainly can’t be as high a priority to the Vikings at this point as Jefferson or Darrisaw. The team will undoubtedly continue trying to get something done with him, and there’s always the option of having him play on the franchise tag in 2024 if something long-term can’t get done. In any case, it’s going to be interesting to see how Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and company juggle those deals as well as any others they might be looking into.