Titans To Sign Austin Hooper

Austin Hooper has reportedly found his new home. The veteran tight end is signing a one-year, $6MM contract, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). 

[RELATED: Browns To Release Hooper]

Hooper, 27, started his career in Atlanta. He played four seasons there, earning Pro Bowls nods in 2018 and 2019. He posted a combined total of 146 catches, 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns during that time. That production made him a highly sought-after commodity in free agency.

Hooper signed a four-year, $42MM deal with the Browns, making him the highest-paid TE in league history at the time. In two seasons in Cleveland, he played (and started) in 29 contests. Over that stretch, he posted 84 receptions for 780 yards and seven touchdowns. That certainly wasn’t the production the team had been expecting, which partially opened the door to a parting of ways.

More signs pointed to a departure when the team placed the franchise tag on fellow TE David Njoku. The latter has been with the Browns since being drafted in the first round by them in 2017. While he also hasn’t emerged as one of the league’s elite seam-stretchers (with a career-high of 639 receiving yards), Njoku represents a better fit in the Browns’ run-heavy offense. Keeping Hooper at a cap hit of over $13MM with Njoku still in the fold was never financially viable.

In Tennessee, Hooper will join an offense short on pass catchers. The team struggled to replace Jonnu Smith, who departed last offseason in free agency. Given that, as well as the release of Julio Jones, there should be plenty of targets available for the Stanford product. With Hooper off the market, the top remaining TEs include the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Gerald Everett and Blake Jarwin.

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