Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff acknowledged at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday that his team has started talks with potential free-agent tight end Austin Hooper.
“I’m sure you guys are waiting to ask more about Mr. Hooper. The reality right now is that we are trudging along,” Dimitroff said. “Once we get back from the Super Bowl, after the Super Bowl week we’ll continue to look and see how we are moving forward. But at this point there are no updates on Austin.”
With San Francisco headed to Super Bowl LIV, Hooper, who was an alternate Pro Bowl selection, was picked Monday to replace 49ers tight end George Kittle.
Hooper had career highs in catches (75), receiving yards (787) and touchdowns (six) in 13 games this season. He missed three games with a knee sprain. He’s set to become a free agent if the Falcons can’t re-sign him before the new NFL business year starts in March.
The Falcons could choose to place the franchise tag on Hooper, who is the team’s top offseason priority.