The Atlanta Falcons selected Tight End Austin Hooper from Stanford in the 2016 NFL Draft and since then he has become a star on the rise. This past season, Hooper finished with 75 receptions and 787 yards. Its extension time and that has fans and executives alike wondering if Hooper will be re-signed. The acquisition of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter brings into question will the Falcons re-sign Austin Hooper?
Arthur Blank Speaks on Austin Hooper
“I think he’s a young, ascending player, and he has performed at a very high level for us,” Blank told ESPN. “I think he’s worthy, certainly, of a new contract based on the market. Whether that fits in with us and our salary cap remains to be seen.Vaugn McClure, ESPN
Because of the mishandling of the Atlanta Falcons cap space, it brings into question who can the Falcons sign. Nevertheless, three notable free agents are Austin Hooper, De’Vondre Campbell, and Vic Beasley. With the current cap space, it appears that only one of the three will return. I believe that only Hooper is worthy of staying with the Falcons because of the three he has the least flaws and the most potential.
Draft Status versus Production
It should be noted that Dirk Koetter has notably gotten production out of Tight Ends that weren’t drafted high. Austin Hooper has proved that he is one of the best tight ends in all of football as he has produced for two different coordinators. He also as a connection with Matt Ryan which shouldn’t be ignored in hopes to save a few bucks. The addition of Hooper allows this offense to be explosive as he is someone who takes the pressure off of Julio Jones.
This offense runs like an oiled machine off the backs of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Austin Hooper. Taking a cog out of that machine without a clear replacement spells disaster. Most of the Falcons money is tied up into the offense and understandably the defense needs to be rebuilt but Hooper unquestionably deserves the money that he has earned.
Will Thomas Dimitroff finally do the right thing?
General manager Thomas Dimitroff has stated that contract discussions with Falcons free-agents will begin after the conclusion of the super bowl. I project that as the clock ticks, it only leaves more doubt into the burning question. The Falcons should do what’s right and keep the pieces that propel them forward.
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