The Falcons’ fire sale is underway, but it sounds like Austin Hooper will be staying put. Even though the tight end is bound for unrestricted free agency as the Falcons look to manage salary cap issues, club officials still believe they can re-sign him this offseason, Jeff Schultz of The Athletic tweets.
With that in mind, there’s little motivation for the Falcons to trade Hooper, who has been one of the few major bright spots for the Falcons during an otherwise dismal year. To date, Hooper has reeled in 46 catches for 526 yards and four touchdowns, putting him on pace to blow past last year’s 71/660/4 stat line. And, just a couple of weeks ago, he reminded everyone in Atlanta of just how dangerous he can be with eight catches, 117 yards, and a touchdown against the Rams.
Hooper, 25 in November, is earning just $2.025MM in base pay in the final year of his rookie contract. The 6’4″ target is in line for a major pay day in March, but the Falcons seem willing to be the ones writing the check.
There could be even more targets and opportunities for Hooper in the second half of the year. Mohamed Sanu, who drew 42 looks in seven games, was shipped to the Patriots on Tuesday morning in exchange for a second-round pick.
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