June 25, 2024

veteran Hooper insist on joining New England Patriots; as J.C. Jackson returns

 Patriots to sign former Pro Bowl TE Austin Hooper

The New England Patriots are set to sign two-time Pro Bowler Austin Hooper, a 29-year-old tight end who last played with the Las Vegas Raiders. The veteran is expected to ink a one-year deal with New England worth up to $4.25 million, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Hooper again will join an Alex Van Pelt-led offense, as the two worked hand-in-hand during the 2020 and 2021 seasons on the Cleveland Browns. The 6-foot-4 tight end logged 780 yards on 84 receptions with seven touchdowns across both seasons in Cleveland.

NFL free agency: Austin Hooper joins Patriots on one-year deal

The 2016 third-round pick will best be remembered for his time with the Atlanta Falcons, where he achieved back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons in 2018 and 2019, logging 2,244 yards on 214 receptions with 16 touchdowns in his four years with the team.

In his nine seasons in the league, Hooper has failed to find a true home, bouncing around five different organizations. After being targeted just 31 times last season with the Raiders, converting them into 25 catches for 234 yards, Hooper can be hopeful that a depleted Patriots offense — now without DeVante Parker — can give the career journeyman more looks.

While Hooper’s numbers have declined since he left Atlanta — 2023 was his first season without a touchdown — the Stanford product will now have an opportunity to resurrect his career as the second option behind recently re-signed Hunter Henry.

Patriots, J.C. Jackson Reportedly Have ‘Mutual Interest’ In Reunion

It appears former Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson could return for a third tour of duty in New England.

Did you think they’d be done with reunions now that Bill Belichick’s gone?

Jackson and the Patriots have “mutual interest in a return” despite his release earlier this offseason, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. New England isn’t in a hurry to have something materialize, as it “could be a down-the-line development,” but it’s something to keep in mind.

Patriots Rumors: New Details On Why J.C. Jackson Was Punished

It was a rough second stint in New England for Jackson, who returned via trade with the Los Angeles Chargers in October, but only suited up in eight games for the remainder of the season. He was placed on the non-football illness list twice, while also being suspended before the Patriots’ trip to Germany after missing curfew at the team hotel.

He was ultimately cut on March 1, less than two years after he signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal with LA.

Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo left the door open for him to remain in New England before the release, which might signal he still feels there’s something left in the 28-year-old.

Jackson’s play has declined considerably since leaving Foxboro the first time, but in a decreased role on an already well-built secondary, he could recoup some value on a short-term contract. In all honesty, it might be his only option

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *