Player the Cleveland Browns were smart to move on from No. 2
When the Cleveland Browns signed tight end Austin Hooper, it seemed like a move that would really help Baker Mayfield and the offense out. At the time of the deal, Hooper was made the highest-paid tight end in the NFL, which didn’t last long.
Now, two years later, Hooper is no longer with the Browns as they released him back on March 12 with a post-June 1 designation. Six days later, Hooper signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tennessee Titans, who needed an upgrade at the position. The Browns are still responsible for some of Hooper’s contract, but it was worth it to move on.
In 29 games with the Browns, Hooper racked up 84 catches on 131 targets for 780 yards, seven touchdowns, and six drops. The drops were crucial in 2021 as he had four of them. Yikes. To put his two seasons in Cleveland into perspective, Hooper had more yards in his last season with the Atlanta Falcons (789) than he did in two years combined. To be fair, a lot of that had to do with the play of Mayfield.
With Hooper being released, it opened the door for David Njoku to be the true No. 1 tight end on the depth chart, a place many fans thought he should have been for the past two seasons. The Browns used the franchise tag on Njoku and the two sides are wanting a deal to get done, which I expect to be sometime around training camp.