Former Iowa Hawkeye Makes NFL History…AGAIN!
Iowa Hawkeye fans have gotten pretty used to seeing former Hawks go on to have incredible careers in the NFL. Dallas Clark, Andre Tippet, George Kittle, Chad Greenway, and Paul Krause all come to mind. These are just the first handful of players I can think of off the top of my head and I'm not even from Iowa. The list of Hawkeyes who have gone on to play exceptional football in the NFL is a pretty big one.
You might remember the former Hawkeye TJ Hockenson. He was drafted 8th overall by the Detroit Lions in 2019 and was traded to the Minnesota Vikings last season. Did you know he made history last year on Christmas Eve as the Vikings beat the New York Giants on a last-second field goal?
TJ joined the Vikes in the middle of the season and his presence was felt immediately on the field. After being traded, he only had a handful of practices before his first game with the team. In that first game...he had 9 catches for 70 yards. Pretty good debut I'd say.
Well, he just did something pretty cool yesterday (August 31). He didn't just make Vikings history either, he made NFL history.
This former Hawkeye's bank account just got a whole lot bigger and deservingly so. He's easily in the top 5 for best tight ends in the NFL and some would even consider him in the top 3. George Kittle, also a former Hawkeye, and Travis Kelce are the two best at the position. After that, it's a bit up for grabs for that number three spot.
TJ Hockenson just signed the biggest contract in the history of the NFL at the tight end position. He will remain a Viking for the next 4 years and it will cost the team $68.5 million dollars, with $32 million of it guaranteed. According to the Gazette, this will be the highest salary ever for a tight end in the NFL.
How long will his reign at the top as the highest-paid player at the position? Who knows. The NFL's salary cap continues to grow every year so you can only imagine salaries will get bigger and bigger throughout the years. For now, TJ gets to hang onto the record.
In only 10 games with the Vikings last year, Hockenson had 60 receptions for 519 yards and 3 touchdowns. Clearly, the Vikings wanted to keep him around.