Wednesday, February 8, 2023
HomeNFLJudging deadline deals for Roquan Smith, Christian McCaffrey, Bradley Chubb and more

Judging deadline deals for Roquan Smith, Christian McCaffrey, Bradley Chubb and more

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Lions receive:

  • 2023 second-round pick
  • 2024 third-round pick

There is a double-edged quality to this trade. There are reasons to like it for both sides and also reasons to question it for each.

For Detroit, there is sound logic behind trading a player they likely wouldn’t have signed long term. They received two Day 2 picks and freed up more than $13 million in cap space this year and next in the process. That part makes sense.

The problem is that the Lions’ roster remains a major work in progress. The young nucleus offers promise, but on the whole, Detroit is not teeming with blue-chip talents. Was Hockenson that exactly? Probably not. Yet he was among the few solid pillars on the team, and so that void must be replaced. Young, talented tight ends don’t grow on trees, after all.

Struggling through a frustrating season, TE Irv Smith Jr. is now heading to injured reserve with a high ankle sprain, so the need was there at the position. This offense now is very difficult to defend, with Hockenson giving Minnesota a middle-of-the-field dimension. He’s tough and was well-liked in Detroit, so he should fit in well in his new locker room.

But Minnesota also gave up some decent assets and, as things stand now, will be shorthanded in each of the next two drafts. Hockenson is capable of taking over a game once in a while, but he’s had only two career 100-yard receiving games (including one earlier this season vs. Seattle). And eventually Kirk Cousins’ contract will be off the books, but until it is, the Vikings’ salary-cap situation will need some major work this coming offseason.

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