Two years ago, the Green Bay Packers dipped their toe in the free agent pool to get a high-priced tight end. That investment has, to be polite, not exactly paid off. But general manager Brian Gutekunst is reportedly thinking about doing it again.
According to Rob Demovsky, the club is expected to make a run at Austin Hooper after the Atlanta Falcons decided not to put the franchise or transition tag on him.
A couple of takeaways from the combine:
The Packers are intent on adding on a pass-catcher both in free agency and the draft and plan to make a run at Falcons free-agent TE Austin Hooper.
A third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Hooper caught 146 passes the last two years and 10 touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 254-pound Hooper is just 25 years old and a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
The interest in Hooper comes two years after Gutekunst added tight end Jimmy Graham on a three-year, $30 million deal. He’s managed to produce 93 catches and a total of five touchdowns, though he did have a solid postseason this past year. Though no decision has been made on Graham’s future, the Packers could save $8 million in cap space if they cut him.
If Green Bay is able to sign Hooper, he’d join a group with some talented young players at the position, including 2019 third-round pick Jace Sternberger.