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Falcons right to let Hooper seek payday elsewhere


Goober Pyle
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https://www.ajc.com/blog/mike-check/falcons-right-let-hooper-seek-payday-elsewhere/pgzKTvj0I3DQNq8Kak2vjP/

 

Austin Hooper is a very good tight end who had a career season in 2019. The Falcons still decided they won’t offer Hooper a contract before he becomes a free agent next month. Salary-cap restraints may have forced their hand but, either way, the Falcons are making the right move to let Hooper reach the market. 

Hooper has been a very productive player for the Falcons but he’s more possession pass-catcher than big-play producer. Hooper had 75 catches for 787 yards and six touchdowns over 13 games 2019. His yards per reception ranked 19th among tight ends with at least 50 targets. Hooper ranked tied for 22nd in explosive play rate for tight ends, according to Sharp Football. 

Pro Football Focus notes that Hooper’s numbers are “more a result of Atlanta’s scheme as opposed to a tight end who can single-handily win in single coverage. Over three-fourths of his total receiving yardage since 2016 has come on targets that were underneath coverages or from finding a hole in a zone.” 

Hooper is a nice piece to have for a team that can spare the cap space. He is not an essential player for the Falcons, who don’t have the cap space. Hooper might get a nice payday in free agency because he’s just 25-years old and still could expand his game. Even if that happens his value is limited by his position, which ranks just above running back in the pecking order. 

The Falcons can replace Hooper in the draft or with a lower-tier free agent. Darren Fells may be a veteran option. He signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with Houston last year and went on to rank 29th in explosive play rate among tight ends and third with six TDs. Fells will be 34-years old in April, but he made his NFL debut at age 28 (he played pro basketball internationally) and turned a career-high number of targets in 2019 into a very productive season. 

Whichever No. 1 tight end the Falcons settle on for 2020 will benefit from playing with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. They are reasons why Hooper had room to work against zones and underneath coverage. The cap space Hooper is likely to demand is better used on defense. Maybe the Falcons can re-sign free agent linebacker De’Vondre Campbell to a modest deal after he came on as a starter in 2019. 

General manager Thomas Dimitroff said the Falcons still would negotiate with Hooper and other free agents. He said the team also is considering using its franchise tag. Hooper would be the only candidate for that designation, which would mean a salary of more than $10 million. The Falcons likely would be in line for a compensatory draft pick if Hooper signs elsewhere.

That appears to be the most likely outcome at this point. Losing Hooper would leave the Falcons down a good player but they have more pressing roster needs and little cap space to address them.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Goober Pyle said:

Pro Football Focus notes that Hooper’s numbers are “more a result of Atlanta’s scheme as opposed to a tight end who can single-handily win in single coverage. Over three-fourths of his total receiving yardage since 2016 has come on targets that were underneath coverages or from finding a hole in a zone.” 

 

 

 

 

 

This 100%. If he goes to a team where he's forced to play a Kittle or Kelce role, he's going to disappoint a lot of people. 

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11 minutes ago, Ovie_Lover said:

That part is impossible because Koetter's scheme does nothing good at all. Absolutely nothing. No good in it anywhere. He has nothing that his scheme does well.

:lol:

Koetter’s scheme is always bottom of the barrel for yards after catch.  That’s with guys like Julio, Roddy, TG, Matt Ryan, Evans, Jackson, Howard etc....

So how we going to hold it against Hooper for not getting yac last year when we were bottom 5 in yac

Koetter’s YAC:

“The Buccaneers were last with 4.3 average YAC last season. This was the fourth time in six years that they have ranked last in YAC, and they were 29th and 27th the other two years.”

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3 minutes ago, FalconsIn2012 said:

Koetter’s scheme is always bottom of the barrel for yards after catch.  That’s with guys like Julio, Roddy, TG, Matt Ryan, Evans, Jackson, Howard etc....

So how we going to hold it against Hooper for not getting yac last year when we were bottom 5 in yac

http://stats.washingtonpost.com/fb/tmleaders.asp?range=NFL&rank=231&type=Receiving

Doesn't look bottom to me.

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The front office is run by clowns that were frantic last year to do anything possible to save their jobs.

We knew this year would be a cap strapped problem, we should have traded Hooper last year to at least get something for him instead of just letting him walk.

Had we done that though we might not have won a few more meaningless games at the end of the season to save TD's and Quinn's job.

Stupid, and short sighted and a complete disrespect to a young player who not only worked hard to improve but actually gave results on the field.

We have not had a consistent TE threat since TG left and we let Hooper walk for nothing and completely insult him in the process.

This team really sucks, I wish TD and Quinn would take a walk, how can you tell that to a player like Hooper? WTF is wrong with them?

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1 minute ago, FalconsIn2012 said:

Finished 13th in YAC but threw 700 times, by far the most.  Turn it into a metric and we drop to the bottom

Where have Julio, Ridley, Evans, Jackson, Howard, etc ranked in years without Koetter? If you wanna move the goalpost take out Kittle who is an absolute monster and breaks tackles since that isnt scheme and the 49ers drop to the bottom. 

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Just now, Ovie_Lover said:

Where have Julio, Ridley, Evans, Jackson, Howard, etc ranked in years without Koetter? If you wanna move the goalpost take out Kittle who is an absolute monster and breaks tackles since that isnt scheme and the 49ers drop to the bottom. 

We averaged 4.1 YAC last year.  TB finished last in 2018 with 4.3.

5 of 7 years Koetter has finished dead last in YAC.  The other two years 27th & 29th.  His offense isn’t designed for YAC.  It’s all air yards

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2 minutes ago, FalconsIn2012 said:

We averaged 4.1 YAC last year.  TB finished last in 2018 with 4.3.

5 of 7 years Koetter has finished dead last in YAC.  The other two years 27th & 29th.  His offense isn’t designed for YAC.  It’s all air yards

Post the link to those stats. All of them. As you know you have a history of skewing them in your favor.

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Just now, FalconsIn2012 said:

Eh not gonna trust a random guy who doesnt cite his sources. Either way not worried about yac we were 13th and that's with an offense that doesn't focus on getting YAC. 

More than one way to have a good offense. You want Koetter to do it your way and because he doesnt you throw a fit.

I want a ground and pound offense but I dont run around the board going after Koetter. Hes on the team get over it.

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8 minutes ago, Ovie_Lover said:

Eh not gonna trust a random guy who doesnt cite his sources. Either way not worried about yac we were 13th and that's with an offense that doesn't focus on getting YAC. 

More than one way to have a good offense. You want Koetter to do it your way and because he doesnt you throw a fit.

I want a ground and pound offense but I dont run around the board going after Koetter. Hes on the team get over it.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.floridafootballinsiders.com/buccaneers/buccaneers-struggling-yet-gain-yards-catch/amp/

Koetter came out of last season lamenting the fact the Bucs were not a very good team at gaining yards after the catch and though he hasn’t said much about it this year, it’s apparent that is yet another issue that needs to be addressed going forward.

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4 minutes ago, FalconsIn2012 said:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.floridafootballinsiders.com/buccaneers/buccaneers-struggling-yet-gain-yards-catch/amp/

Koetter came out of last season lamenting the fact the Bucs were not a very good team at gaining yards after the catch and though he hasn’t said much about it this year, it’s apparent that is yet another issue that needs to be addressed going forward.

 

Rams 3rd PPG

Redskins 13th

Saints 4th

Jags 9th

Bengals 25th

Steelers 5th

Chiefs 6th

Chargers 18th

Colts 29th

Lions 8th

Average is like 12th on offense in ppg? For top 10 teams in YAC.

Off the top of my head wasnt this team 13th or so in ppg?

Again more than one way to have a good offense. One stat isnt make or break. 

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8 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

I wish Hooper well, but I never believed he was worth $10+ million with our cap space and our holes on defense. I'm going to see what Jaedon Graham can do before I declare Hooper's departure as a death blow to the franchise.

I looked at some old games with Graham playing and he's faster than Hooper and looks more athletic. His hands look solid too. There's obviously more to playing TE well in this league than just that, but I hope he starts playing catch with Matt soon because I think he has the physical tools to do well.

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11 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

I wish Hooper well, but I never believed he was worth $10+ million with our cap space and our holes on defense. I'm going to see what Jaedon Graham can do before I declare Hooper's departure as a death blow to the franchise.

Honestly, Jaeden Graham has shown me more with his handful of catches in the dynamics department than Hooper has his entire time here.  Hooper is good but not great.  He’s like a Jacob Tamme in the era of Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates, Gronk, etc...

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