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Austin Hooper reveals which team he almost signed with before Browns

Austin Hooper, Browns

The Cleveland Browns made former Atlanta Falcons tight end the wealthiest player at his position by inking him to a four-year, $44 million contract. But he nearly signed elsewhere.

Hooper revealed he almost signed with the Washington Redskins before deciding to come to Cleveland during an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio (via Zachary Neel of USA TODAY):

“It really came down to Cleveland and Washington,” Hooper said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio  “At the end, I chose to be a Brown.”

Hooper said in the interview that he had great respect for the Redskins, but he liked the situation in Cleveland a bit more. The team has a talented quarterback in Baker Mayfield, and the offense and defense is ripe with weapons that will hopefully be correctly utilized under a new head coach in Kevin Stefanski.

“It’s too exciting of an opportunity to pass up,” Hooper said.

Washington would have been another interesting fit for Hooper. The Redskins cut former Pro Bowler Jordan Reed, and Vernon Davis retired. Hooper could have slotted right in and immediately become a top target for Dwayne Haskins.

Of course, Hooper can hardly be blamed for choosing the Browns.

Cleveland has immense talent on the offensive side of the football, with stars like Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and Nick Chubb at the different skill positions. Hooper should give Baker Mayfield another reliable pass-catching option as he hopes to rebound from a disappointing 2019 season.

Hooper is coming off a career year in which he had 75 receptions for 787 yards and six touchdowns in just 13 games.