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Michigan

Detroit Lions TE T.J. Hockenson not bothered by trade rumors

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TJ Hockenson deleted all social media apps from his telephone 4 weeks in the past after the Detroit Lions misplaced 48-45 to the Seattle Seahawks.

Hockenson had an excellent eight-catch, 179-yard streak in that sport that accounted for greater than half of his receiving yards this season, and as his inbox crammed up with individuals praising him after a Lions loss, that did fourth yr on the finish came upon it was time to take a break from social media.

So Hockenson hadn’t seen any hypothesis that he is likely to be handled earlier than subsequent week’s NFL trade deadline, till an outdated highschool pal texted him a narrative this week.

When Hockenson confirmed up on the Lions Allen Park coaching facility on Thursday morning, he made gentle of the state of affairs along with his shut teammates.

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“It’s just, ‘Hey, did you hear I’m being traded?'” Hockenson instructed the Free Press Thursday. “I laugh at that more than anything else. I mean, if that — like I said, I love everyone in this dressing room, I love being here in Detroit. I mean, but more importantly and most importantly, I love playing football and so I’m going to have the opportunity and that’s really my whole job in this whole league of playing football. So as long as I have that opportunity, I’m good.”

At simply 25, Hockenson nonetheless has loads of alternative to play soccer and within the coming months he’ll almost definitely be doing so in Detroit. The Lions hadn’t made any calls about Hockenson’s availability as of Friday, though curiosity within the tight finish (and others) did not surge till the deadline final yr.

Hockenson stated his colleagues laughed at his quip Thursday “because they know nothing’s going to happen,” and he insisted the trade rumors “didn’t come (from) the building because I know it’s not.” .

Still, Hockenson has been within the NFL lengthy sufficient to know his time with the Lions is not assured, and in the event that they resolve to enter promote mode earlier than Tuesday’s deadline, he is one of the crucial engaging trade candidates on the group.

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Hockenson is signed to an affordable contract by way of 2023, which can see him earn $536,000 for the rest of this season and $9.39 million subsequent yr. It’s a confirmed tight-end weapon that might play an even bigger, extra impactful function in one other offense. He stated the group was nonetheless negotiating a brand new contract final month (and stated on Thursday nothing had modified since that replace he gave to the Free Press).

And the Lions, 1-5 and homeowners of the worst document within the NFL, are not going wherever quick and may benefit from offering draft capital to assist them rebuild.

“Listen I’m not stupid, I know what I can bring to another team and I know here that if they want something, if they want to do things for the future, I know they could, then I’m in that spirit not stupid.” Hockenson stated. “It’s a enterprise and no matter they must do upstairs, they will do. And it does not — there isn’t any laborious emotions about it. There’s no ‘hey, I do not like him personally’ or one thing like that. That’s it. So I’m not silly or naive in that reality.

Hockenson, the 2019 draft No. 8, has had greater than three productive seasons in Detroit, although his passing sport function has diminished this fall.

Hockenson caught 32 passes for 367 yards as a rookie and nearly doubled that total (67 catches, 723 yards) by reaching the Pro Bowl in 2020. Last year he was on track for an even better season, catching 61 passes for 583 yards in 12 games before tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb in December.

This year, Hockenson has not surpassed four catches or 50 yards in any game other than against the Seahawks, and he has seen his goals drop even as the Lions have struggled with injuries on offense.

“I do know what I can do on this place and I do know what I’ve executed on this place and I’ve executed it at a very excessive stage and when I’m – and I all the time will,” said Hockenson said. “So if my quantity will get referred to as and I get this chance, I’ll make the perfect of it. I really feel like my quantity has been referred to as 5 instances previously week and I’ve made the perfect of 4 alternatives. One was – like that. It’s like I would like it to be extra and I expressed that. But that wasn’t the case, in order that’s not actually one thing I can do or it is below my management, in order that’s the place – that is the place I see it as a sport of ‘Hey, I’m placing good issues on tape’ , and that is all I need to do is put good issues on tape, and no matter occurs, occurs.”

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When asked if he wants to stay with the Lions or thinks he has more options elsewhere, Hockenson said, “That’s received to be determined by one other group, I believe, in that sense. I imply, sure, I simply need to contribute. I need to do what I can to assist groups win.”

Hockenson said he hasn’t spoken to Lions coach Dan Campbell or general manager Brad Holmes about the trade rumors, which he described as “an leisure factor for me.”

He stated he would “like to” play a bigger role in Detroit.

“I would like to make a difference here,” he says. “I felt really good last week. I felt like I could achieve a lot, but it just didn’t happen. I mean, that’s the ups and downs of the league, that happens.”

And lastly, he stated he expects to stay seated till subsequent week’s deadline.

“I mean, if it comes to fruition, it comes to fruition, but again, that’s out of my control,” Hockenson stated. “That’s something I’ve always been tired of and kind of … controlling just what I can control, and what I can’t, that’s fine. I’ll do what I can.”

Contact Dave Birkett at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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