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Cleveland Browns make it official, sign Pro Bowl TE Austin Hooper

Four-year deal worth $44 million makes Hooper the highest-paid tight end in the NFL.

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns are staying busy adding reinforcements on the offensive side of the football and now it's official. On Friday the team announced the signing of Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper.

Earlier in the week, multiple reports indicated the Browns and Hooper had agreed to a four-year deal for $44 million making the former Atlanta Falcons tight end the highest-paid at his position in the NFL.

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"I'm really excited," Hooper said. "Coach Stefanski, from what I’ve heard about him, I just really valued his coaching style and schematically it matches what I’ve been asked to do before in the past, so hopefully it’s a smooth transition. "The amount of talent on this team, it just really excites me.” 

Hooper, 25, was selected by the Falcons in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft and since then has established himself as one of the league's most dynamic tight ends through his first four seasons in the league. In 2019, he tallied 75 receptions for 787 yards and 6 touchdowns in 13 games, earning his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection. 

For his career, Hooper has 214 receptions for 2,244 yards and 16 touchdowns. 

“The nature of the position is block someone 40 pounds heavier than you or outrun someone 40 pounds lighter than you,” Hooper said. “It’s a position that definitely takes some time but I definitely feel like I’ve gotten a lot better in terms of timing my routes and in terms of just stemming into certain routes, and finer details and points of route running."

First-year Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said he's excited about the addition of Hooper.

“I just think his skill set fits so perfectly in what we want to be offensively," Stefanski said. "He's a very smart young man. You can see in the way they've used him over the years in Atlanta, he's got a legit skill set in all areas of the field. Had a ton of production and just excited to add the person and the player.” 

Hooper joins a roster with three tight ends already in David Njoku, Pharaoh Brown and Stephen Carlson.

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