Report: Browns agree to sign free agent tight end Austin Hooper
The Browns cannot officially sign Hooper until Wednesday when NFL free agency actually begins.
While financial terms of the contract have not yet been disclosed, Rapoport notes that this deal will make Hooper the highest-paid tight end in football.
The fact that Hooper is breaking the bank does not come as much of a surprise, as the general consensus all along was that he would reset the tight end market.
It’s where he landed that is fairly shocking.
While most surmised that the Green Bay Packers were the most likely landing spot for Hooper, the Browns have apparently swooped in and stolen him under their noses, as well as several other interested parties.
Cleveland appeared set at tight end entering 2019 with David Njoku manning the position, but a broken wrist injury early in the year knocked him out for most of the season, and even when he returned, he was used only sparingly.
Bringing Hooper aboard now gives the Browns the opportunity to trade Njoku, who certainly has some value given his age and his raw talent.
Hooper spent the first four years of his career with the Atlanta Falcons and is coming off of a 2019 campaign in which he played 13 games and hauled in 75 receptions for 787 yards and six touchdowns, en route to his second straight Pro Bowl appearance.
Cleveland was one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams this past season, going just 6-10 in spite of Super Bowl aspirations.