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New England Patriots

Meet the Newest New England Patriot: Austin Hooper



Las Vegas Raiders tight end Austin Hooper makes a catch during warmups before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Monday, Dec. 25, 2023 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

The New England Patriots lost free agent tight end Mike Gesicki, who signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. Later in the day they may have found his replacement. Austin Hooper agreed to a one-year contract to join the Patriots. The reported deal is worth up to $4.25 million. It is unclear how much of that is guaranteed at this time.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport was the first to report the signing.

Austin Hooper is entering his ninth NFL season. He played college football for Stanford.  The Atlanta Falcons selected Hooper in the third round (No. 81 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft. He stayed in Atlanta for four seasons. Hooper was named to consecutive Pro Bowl teams in 2018 and 2019. He signed with the Cleveland Browns in free agency before the 2020 season. The Cleveland coaching staff included current Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney, then an offensive assistant.

Hooper played two years with the Browns. He made one season stops with the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders over the past two seasons. New England now becomes his fourth different home in the past four years.

Last season Austin Hooper finished with 25 catches for 234 yards. His career totals are 364 receptions, 3,702 yards, and 25 touchdowns. Pro Football Focus graded Hooper as 58.2 last season, ranking 32 of 43 qualifying tight ends. It was the lowest PFF grade of his career but did rank him higher than Mike Gesicki.

Austin Hooper joins Hunter Henry and La’Michael Pettway in the New England Patriots tight end room. Blocking tight end Pharaoh Brown from last season’s squad remains on the free agent market.

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