All hail the light giver – Austin Hooper
Austin Hooper was an unexpected surprise. Not the best on the board to begin the off-season, that was Hunter Henry, but after he was franchised, Hooper became the guy to watch. Thing is, many Cleveland Browns ‘experts’ weren’t really talking about Hooper that much. It was Henry or a tight end in the draft. Even worse, there were some who thought about just running things back with David Njoku.
Those people were mocked relentlessly by a group of Girl Scouts I hear.
Hooper comes in on a good, albeit overpriced deal. It’s a four year, $44 million dollars a year, with $28 million guaranteed. He comes in with some good numbers too, but not top tight end in the NFL money. That’s what he got from the Browns. So desperate to get the girl at prom to dance with you, that you promise her a spin in your dad’s sports car. The only problem, the old man keeps it locked up and now you have to find a way to make this happen.
That’s essentially what the Browns did with Hooper. They promised him the biggest ‘get’ possible, and despite not producing like the top tight end in the NFL, they now have to pay him like one. He’ll never live up to his deal because he’s not as talented as the Travis Kelce’s of the NFL.
Still not as bad as the Paul Kruger contract.
Remember when everyone was wetting themselves over how good that signing was? Well, one specific writer thought it was the worst deal the team had ever agreed to. That writer still feels that way, in case anyone is asking. Come on, who signs a guy to 5 year, $40 million dollar deal off of just what he did in the playoffs? That’s some high-grade idiocy right there.
The Hooper deal, however, isn’t that bad. In fact, considering how versatile he is, how young he is (25) and how good of a blocker he is, the deal feels right. He’s not the top guy in the league at his position and never will be, but he’s a good blocker and receiver and that’s better than the team has had in some time at that position. So what if the guy made three or four million more a year. It’s almost like the Browns have no problem over-paying, someone, sometimes.
No, I’m not still bitter about Schobert. Why do you ask?