Browns To Sign Austin Hooper

The Browns have reached agreement with Austin Hooper, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. The deal will make Hooper the league’s highest paid tight end of all time. Hooper has also personally confirmed that the Browns are likely to land him (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). 

I’m definitely leaning Cleveland. Unless something comes up unexpected, then no question Cleveland is the leader,” Hooper said.

Once finalized, the deal will pay Hooper $42MM over four years, as Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com tweets. The pact includes $18.5MM fully guaranteed at signing with $23MM locked in through the first two years. The average annual value of $10.5MM makes Hooper the league’s best compensated TE in NFL history, putting him ahead of Jimmy Graham. Graham, before he was cut, was on a deal that paid him $10MM per annum.

Hooper has drawn interest from just about everyone in recent weeks and, unlike the incumbent Falcons, they had enough available cap room to swing a deal. The deal, for now, is a (teleconferenced) handshake. On Wednesday, the two sides can make things official when the 2020 league year officially begins.

In 13 games for Atlanta in 2019, the two-time Pro Bowler set career-highs in catches (75), receiving yards (787), and touchdowns (six). In Cleveland, Hooper would provide Baker Mayfield with yet another explosive offensive weapon. Last year, despite all of their immense talent, the Browns were unable to capitalize.

This year, things could be different under their new regime, and their aerial attack could be more dangerous than ever. Meanwhile, the Browns will keep their fingers crossed for the swift and full recoveries of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, both of whom are coming off of surgery. If they’re good to go, opposing defenses will have their hands full with Hooper, OBJ, Landry, and David Njoku, who would likely line up in two tight end sets with the team’s new high-priced addition.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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14 comments on “Browns To Sign Austin Hooper

  1. All American Johnsonville Dogs

    overpaid by a lot….

    should of gone with cheaper options in Blake Jarwin or Eric Ebron.

    idk why browns didn’t trade for trai turner from the Panthers to upgrade the line and give him a new deal.

    need to upgrade the line and lb core.

    • Michael Chaney

      You get what you pay for, and Jarwin or Ebron wouldn’t have done much to help. Hooper will help a lot more, and since it was the open market it was already guaranteed he’d become the highest paid right end.

      It’s possible the Browns reached out to the Panthers, but their offensive line coach has experience with Russell Okung and wanted the Panthers to get him, so it’s possible they were hellbent on getting Okung back. Even if the Browns were interested, it takes two to tango.

      The line will be addressed soon, and I’d imagine they’ll add a linebacker either in free agency or the draft. Schobert was good, but someone else will overpay him.

  2. Thronson5

    Wow. Nice piece to that offense. If the Browns are falling flat on their face at the trad deadline I believe they trade OBJ or Landry. They definitely could use some better pass protection on the O Line

  3. goldenmisfit

    Add this guy to the list of people who buy week five will be complaining to the media that he’s not getting the ball.

  4. driftcat28

    This is why Brady wants out, what is Bill doing!? Go get some receivers !!

  5. coltsrocker1

    I like the signing, but why not fix the O Line first? Having another great weapon won’t do anything if Baker can’t get enough time to throw the damn ball

  6. mlbnyyfan

    Did the Cowboys fall asleep during the negotiations. They needed someone reliable to finally replace an over the hill Witten

    • Michael Chaney

      They have enough on their hands between Dak’s negotiations, Amari Cooper, and possibly Byron Jones

  7. Jcool90

    Wow yall still act like yall gonna beat the team. Ravens 2021 SB CHAMPS, watch. Baker is a busted at QB he has way more talent WRs then Lamar and still stinks. Pathetic lol ha bums.

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