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How Austin Hooper went the extra mile to familiarize himself with Baker Mayfield

Cleveland Browns, Austin Hooper, Baker Mayfield

The Cleveland Browns made yet another splash this offseason with the addition of tight end Austin Hooper in free agency. It appears his relationship with quarterback Baker Mayfield had already begun before he signed his four-year, $44 million deal.

The restrictions placed in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic provided its own set of challenges for players trying to get properly acquainted with their new teams. Fortunately, that was not an issue for Hooper and Mayfield, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com:

“I was in contact with Baker before I signed,’’ new Browns talent Austin Hooper said. “At the end of the day, that’s how it works, to be honest with you. You want to get a feel for the person you’re going to work with. I told him that I like to work, do stuff in the offseason. He was ready, more than willing.”

It is certainly encouraging to see that Hooper embraced the challenges of building a rapport with his new teammates during such unprecedented circumstances. This should help to pay huge dividends for Cleveland’s offense as they look to spark a potential resurgence in the 2020 NFL season.

Although the Browns have done what they can to beef up Mayfield’s supporting cast in recent years, the onus will ultimately fall on him and new head coach Kevin Stefanski to put it all together. Hooper will undoubtedly be tasked with playing an integral role in helping to make it come to fruition as a two-time Pro Bowler coming off a career year with the Atlanta Falcons.