Player No. 3
T.J. Hockenson - TE
Before the start of Minnesota's training camp this summer, most likely felt that there was absolutely no way that the team would even consider trading T.J. Hockenson this year.
However, Hockenson and the Vikings still haven't been able to agree to a contract extension, and the solution could end up being something that winds up with both parties agreeing to move the tight end to a team that would be more willing to pay him the kind of money he's currently looking for.
Minnesota would definitely prefer to just keep Hockenson for the 2023 season, as he quickly developed into one of Kirk Cousins' favorite targets in 2022. But sometimes, these contract situations can produce unpredictable outcomes.
Can the Vikings survive in 2023 without Hockenson in their offense? Well, it's something that seems more believable after the additions of rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison and free-agent tight end Josh Oliver earlier this year.
Oliver has been labeled as a blocking tight end, but he has some receiving skills that have been underutilized during his previous stops in the NFL. As for Addison, his performance out on the practice fields this summer has been impressive enough that many now believe he should be able to make an immediate impact for Minnesota this season.
What could the Vikings get in return in a trade involving Hockenson? Well, at the very least, Minnesota would clear more than $9 million in cap space and be left with no dead cap if they dealt the tight end to another team before the start of the regular season.
Trading Hockenson this year still isn't something that seems likely for the Vikings. But the extension negotiations could get to a point in the near future that results in Minnesota feeling like they have no other choice than to trade the talented tight end.