Falcons tight end Austin Hooper runs for a first down against the Tennessee Titans in a NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons lose tight end Austin Hooper to Browns 

Tight end Austin Hooper, who made two Pro Bowls as an alternate with the Falcons, is set to sign with the Browns, according to the NFL Network.

Reportedly, the deal will make Hooper the highest paid tight end in the league.

The Browns can’t make the deal official until 4 p.m. Wednesday, when the new league year starts. 

Hooper was selected in the third round (81st overall) of the 2016 NFL draft by the Falcons.   

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said at the NFL scouting combine that Hooper, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and guard Wes Schweitzer would be allowed to enter free agency. The team held out hope that they could re-sign the three players as the Falcons elected not to put a franchise tag on Hooper.

Hooper had 75 catches for 787 yards and six touchdowns last season.

Hooper has a market value of about $10 million per year, according to salary-cap website Spotrac. 


Here’s a look at where things stand with the Falcons’ potential unrestricted and restricted free agents:



Kenjon Barner, running back
Matt Schaub, quarterback – Club picked up his option, according to his agent
Justin Hardy, wide receiver - Will not re-sign with team
Austin Hooper, tight end – Will be allowed to hit the market. Has agreed to terms with the Browns.  
Matt Simms, quarterback 
Keith Smith, fullback – Was re-signed to a three-year deal on Saturday, March 14
Wes Schweitzer, offensive guard/center – Will be allowed to hit the market
Ty Sambrailo, tackle - Released by the team on March 16
Devonta Freeman - Cut by the team on March 16


Vic Beasley, defensive end/linebacker – Will not be re-signed 
De'Vondre Campbell, linebacker – Will be allowed to hit the market 
Adrian Clayborn, defensive end 
Jack Crawford, defensive tackle
Johnathan Cyprien, safety
Tyeler Davison, defensive tackle - Agrees to three-year deal 
Ra’Shede Hageman, defensive tackle – Waived by the team on Jan. 13
Kemal Ishmael, safety/linebacker – Will not be re-signed by Falcons 
Steven Means, defensive end -- Re-signed to a one-year contract on March 9.
Sharrod Neasman, safety 
Jamar Taylor, cornerback 
John Wetzel, offensive lineman – Vested veteran contract terminated and then re-signed.
J.J. Wilcox, safety 
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, cornerback
Desmond Trufant - Released by team 


Matt Bosher, punter 
Ryan Allen, punter – Signed to a one-year contract extension for $945,000 on Feb. 18
Sam Irwin-Hill, punter – Signed to a one-year contract worth $510,000



Brian Hill, running back


Michael Bennett, defensive tackle


Younghoe Koo, placekicker – Signed a one-year contract extension for $660,000 on Feb. 18. 

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