Falcons Will Let Austin Hooper Test Market in Free Agency, Says Thomas Dimitroff

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2020

Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (81) runs against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Coming off a career year with the Atlanta Falcons in 2019, tight end Austin Hooper will test his value on the open market. 

Speaking to the media Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the team is "hopeful" it will re-sign Hooper, and the Falcons "fully intend on negotiating" with his representatives this offseason. 

Last month, Dimitroff told reporters negotiations with Hooper were "trudging along" and the team would continue to assess the situation. 

Per ESPN's Vaughn McClure, Falcons owner Arthur Blank called Hooper "a young, ascending player" who is "worthy, certainly, of a new contract based on market."

Blank added the Falcons would have to determine if that meant Hooper's potential salary could fit into their salary-cap for next season. 

Atlanta is in a difficult position. The team has just $4.3 million available, the third-lowest amount in the NFL, per Over the Cap.

NFL cap analyst Joel Corry told McClure that Hooper's contract could be worth $44 million over four years, with $26.5 million guaranteed. 

Trey Burton of the Chicago Bears carries the largest total guaranteed money ($22 million). Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs carries the largest total value at the position ($46,842,000). 

Hooper set career highs with 75 receptions, 787 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 13 games for the Falcons in 2019. 


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