AP Source: Titans agree to deal with tight end Austin Hooper
A person familiar with the deal says the Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with veteran tight end Austin Hooper.
The Titans announced new contracts with veteran cornerback Buster Skrine and running back Jordan Wilkins on Friday. The person confirming Hooper’s new contract spoke to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because his deal has not been announced yet.
Hooper was released by Cleveland on Thursday after not living up to the four-year, $42 million contract he signed as a free agent two years ago with Cleveland. He will have a chance to be Tennessee’s top tight end, which the Titans have lacked since Jonnu Smith signed as a free agent with New England a year ago.
The Titans have been limited in what they’ve been able to do since free agency began Wednesday with little space available under the salary cap. Seven-time Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones became the fifth player released Thursday to create more room, but the latest move won’t provide cap space until June 1.
Hooper is the first big free agent the Titans have signed after keeping outside linebacker Harold Landry and center Ben Jones off the free agent market with deals last week. Those two deals cost the Titans only $8.4 million this season, but Spotrac.com estimated the Titans with $720,675 of cap space.
A third-round pick in 2016 out of Stanford, Hooper twice made the Pro Bowl in four seasons with Atlanta. He caught 84 passes for 780 yards and seven touchdowns in 29 games with Cleveland the past two seasons.
Skrine was signed with Tennessee as a free agent last November and played in six games with one interception and 17 tackles. The 11-year veteran has played 158 games with Cleveland, the Jets, Chicago, San Francisco, and he has 10 career interceptions after being a fifth-round pick in 2011 out of Chattanooga.
The Titans also brought back Wilkins, who joined their practice squad in December and played in the regular season finale at Houston. He was a fifth-round pick by Indianapolis in 2018 out of Mississippi, and Wilkins has played 50 games with 195 carries, 951 yards and four touchdowns.
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