Much like the rest of the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings have had their fair share of contract drama this summer, too. This comes in the form of Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson, who continues to sit out practice amid his looming contract extension.
Reports state that both sides have been locked in on negotiations but considering Hockenson’s massive demands, it appears that it will still take a bit of time before they find a common ground.
TJ Hockenson Plays Down Contract Holdout With Vikings
The official reason behind Hockenson’s absence from practice — beyond stretching and walkthroughs, that is — is that he is currently dealing with an ear infection. On Monday, the 26-year-old reiterated that it’s this injury that has held him back in practice and not his current contract situation:
“No, that’s not my focus,” he said. “My focus is to be out here with these guys on Sept. 9 or whatever it is. Be ready for September and be ready for game day on Sunday.”
However, when asked if he felt there was any significant progress in extension talks, Hockenson did show a bit of disappointment:
“I don’t really know. I keep that between [my agent] and the guys upstairs,” said Hockenson, “so like I say, that’s not really my focus. It’ll play out. Not really what I’m focused on. Just focused on football right now and getting out here, being ready to go.”
“[Watching from the sidelines] sucks but it is what it is. It’s really just making me want to be out there more with the guys. I’ll be ready to go in September and that’s really when I need to be,” he said.
Vikings ‘Working On’ TJ Hockenson Massive Extension for TJ Hockenson
There appears to be a big reason as to why Hockenson has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal. According to NFL insider Dov Kleiman, the former No. 8 overall pick is currently holding out for what has been deemed a “historic contract extension:”
“Update: #Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson wants to reset the market with an ‘historic contract extension’ for tight ends per @DMRussini The two sides are working on it but are currently far apart, per the report,” Kleiman wrote in his tweet.
It sounds like Hockenson is demanding a record-breaking deal, which is likely why negotiations have dragged on significantly. The silver lining here is that it doesn’t sound like the Vikings are completely opposed to the same. Both camps are still doing everything they can to arrive at an agreement, so at this point, it still sounds like a contract extension is imminent.