Falcons Believe They’ll Keep Austin Hooper

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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4 comments on “Falcons Believe They’ll Keep Austin Hooper

  1. UGA_Steve

    Just don’t see it happening. Hooper is only 24 and just really getting rolling. Teams will want him and the Falcons cannot compete money wise due to the CAP situation.

    The chances of a re-sign are so low I think they would be better off looking for a future pick. Even if they do re-sign him, what will be left to put around him? They are in probably the worst cap situation in the NFL. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better, so why sign him to a big contract?

    • UGA_Steve

      Can’t edit my post for some reason, but now I realize they likely won’t get more than a compensatory pick type value for a half year rental on him, they might as well hang on to him and give the re-sign a try.

  2. vtncsc

    This is a big difference between the Patriots and other teams, and why NE is successful for 20 years.

    If this was NE, Bill would trade Hooper for as much draft capital as possible. That draft capital can then be used to move up in the draft if needed, move back if desired for more capital, and so on.

    Instead, Atlanta is going to hang onto him and resign him anyways (apparently) without any incoming draft picks. That doesn’t make sense. Get what you can in the midst of a 1-6 season, where you’re clearly not going to make the playoffs.

    Stupid move is stupid.

  3. bravesfan

    I don’t see why we should keep pretty much most of our offense minus any of the decent linemen. Our offense is the only part of the team that actually has decent talent on it and that capital needs to be used to get better future piece, which includes an incredible overhaul of the defense.

    Change in coaching will be super important also. We need guys who are incredibly smart and innovative. Quinn and his staff is so transparent on defense it hurts. We can even give our subpar offense a shot … make some changes, go get piece to build a new future with. This team ain’t cutting it

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