Cleveland Browns: 3 impacts Austin Hooper has on the roster

Cleveland Browns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Three ways the Cleveland Browns signing of tight end Austin Hooper would impact the roster in 2020 and beyond.

The Cleveland Browns made one of the biggest splashes early on in free agency, signing Atlanta Falcons free-agent tight end Austin Hooper. It’s not official yet, but here’s three ways the deal would impact the Browns’ roster.

1. DePodesta values TEs

During the reign of Analytics The First, the Cleveland Browns spent a late first-round pick on a tight end, as Google searches surged as card carrying members of the Dawg Pound to find out “Who is David Njoku.”

Now, the Browns are set to make history by signing Atlanta Falcons free agent Austin Hooper. The deal will pay out $42 million over four years, with $23 million guaranteed, according to CBS Sports Analyst Scott Pioli.

Hooper was one of the crown jewel free agents of Pro Football Focus, as the analytically oriented website gave him an 80.5 offensive grade, which ranked 7th among qualifying tight ends last season. Hooper was targeted 93 times, and totaled just two drops!

Conversely, it appears the Browns don’t value the linebacker position, as it didn’t take long for Christian Kirksey to catch on with the Green Bay Packers. Kirkesy had his best years playing for Mike Pettine, who is now the Packers’ defensive coordinator.