Morning sports update: Tight end Austin Hooper mentioned Tom Brady in free agent discussion

"He's one of the greatest of our generation."

Falcons tight end Austin Hooper runs after making a catch in Dec. 2019. AP Photo/John Bazemore

The NFL is set to move forward with its offseason on Monday, as impending free agents can officially begin speaking with other teams starting at 12 p.m.

The “legal tampering period” will run from noon today until Wednesday at 4 p.m. when the 2020 league year officially begins and players can formally begin signing contracts.

Given the current international effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, there was obvious pushback against the league going through a major component of its offseason schedule without interruption. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter explained, many people aren’t happy about it.

“I will say this, the amount of furor and anger that this has created around the league I think is something that I’ve never before seen,” said Schefter on SportsCenter. “There are head coaches, general managers, agents, players, reaching out who are incensed that the league year is beginning.”


Schefter noted that the free agent recruitment process requires players to travel with their agents, and taking physicals before signing contracts. All of that will demand the usage of resources which are currently critical to fighting coronavirus.

Austin Hooper talked about possibly playing with Tom Brady: Falcons tight end Austin Hooper is going to be one of the more coveted tight ends in free agency during the offseason. The 25-year-old is a two-time Pro Bowler, and has posted back-to-back seasons with at least 70 receptions.

The Patriots, meanwhile, are still trying to figure out the tight end position following Rob Gronkowski’s decision to retire a year ago. New England figures to be a candidate to pursue Hooper in free agency.

The other clear and obvious factor for Hooper is where Tom Brady signs. If the 42-year-old Brady stays with the Patriots, Hooper would said he would naturally be interested.

“Of course, everyone would love to play with Tom Brady,” Hooper recently told ESPN’s Vaughn McClue. “He’s one of the greatest of our generation.”

Exactly where Brady will end up remains a mystery, though there have already been several reports about teams taking themselves out of the running.

Trivia: What Bruins player, who ranks eighth in goals and ninth in points in team history, was born in Birmingham, England?


(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He arrived in Boston after a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Blackhawks.

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