Cleveland Browns Terrible Free Agency Signing No. 6 – Austin Hooper
Trust me, I know I’m being unfair to Austin Hooper and Andrew Berry by saying he is the sixth worse free agency singing since 1999, but he’s likely the number one disappointment which is why he makes my list.
For a short time, Hooper was the highest-paid tight end in the league when signed by the Cleveland Browns. He was the real deal, not only was he a capable blocker, but he had shown a lot of explosion in the passing game.
All offseason the report was that Hooper and Baker Mayfield looked to be in perfect sync. They quickly found chemistry and Hooper had quickly become the favorite target in camp before the 2020 season.
It’s been nothing but a disappointment ever since.
Not only is Hooper struggling to get targets, but he’s also dropping the ball far too often when he finally gets a look. After 787 yards, six touchdowns, and 97 targets his final year in Atlanta, Hooper had just 345 yards, three touchdowns, and 61 targets in 2021.
Hooper is still a fantastic blocker and makes a few nice plays here and there, but he has completely busted in comparison to his contract. So much that fans have started chanting for him to lose playing time.
The Browns can get out of Hooper’s deal with only $11.25 of dead cap over the next three years. It’s leaving a lot of money on the table, but the $19 million in savings may make it happen.