Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper has agreed to a four-year contract with the Cleveland Browns. Hooper, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, told ESPN’s Vaughn McClure the deal is worth $44 million, with $23 million guaranteed.
Hooper, 25, is coming off his best NFL season, with 75 catches for 787 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2019. He posted those numbers despite missing three games with an MCL sprain.
The Falcons saw the potential in Hooper when they drafted him in the third round in 2016 out of Stanford. He developed into a serious threat under the tutelage of former tight ends coach Wade Harman and thrived in former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s system.
Through four seasons and 59 career games, Hooper has caught 214 passes for 2,244 yards with 16 touchdowns and 105 first downs on 274 targets. He was selected to play in the past two Pro Bowls.
Hooper had just one drop on 97 targets last season. Over the past three seasons, he leads all tight ends with a 77.3% catch percentage.
Browns tight ends Ricky Seals-Jones, Demetrius Harris, Stephen Carlson, David Njoku and Pharaoh Brown registered a combined 41 receptions for 497 yards in 2019. Njoku caught 56 passes for 639 yards in 2018, but played only four games last season because of a wrist injury.