- The Washington Times
Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Washington Redskins have signed two tight ends in free agency, but they were in the running for the biggest name on the market at the position.

Cleveland Browns tight end Austin Hooper said recently that his free agent decision came down to choosing between Cleveland and Washington, but ultimately, he “chose be a Brown.” 

Appearing on SiriusXM, Hooper said he chose Cleveland, in part, because of quarterback Baker Mayfield. 

“The Redskins were definitely a team that had shown interest, I would say,” Hooper said. “Definitely a solid organization with another young quarterback. That probably would have been my next landing spot.

“It really came down to Cleveland and Washington.”

Hooper, who spent his first four years with the Atlanta Falcons, signed a four-year, $44 million contract — a deal that makes him the highest-paid tight end in the league. 

After the Redskins missed out on Hooper, they signed former Lions tight end Logan Thomas and former Eagles tight end Richard Rodgers. The position was perhaps the Redskins’ most glaring need on the roster, and neither Thomas nor Rodgers have been a consistent No. 1 option in the past. 

It may come as a surprise that someone would prefer Cleveland over Washington, given the Browns’ track record throughout the years. But the Browns have built a promising young supporting cast with talent on offense, from wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry to running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. 

The Browns, too, are coming off a 6-10 season — better than Washington’s 3-13. 

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