New Browns TE Austin Hooper got the chance to watch QB Baker Mayfield up close two years ago when the Falcons played Cleveland. Mayfield tossed three touchdowns, led his team to victory and left a lasting impression on Hooper that played a factor in him choosing the Browns on the first day of the negotiating period as a free agent.
“No question, being in a position that is dependent upon getting balls from the quarterback, it was definitely a part of the process for me,” Hooper said via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “Playing against Baker Mayfield live, seeing his arm and seeing his competitive spirit and the way he rallies the guys around him, that is what sold me on him before I was obviously a free agent. This was two seasons ago now when we came up to Cleveland. I knew what he was about for a couple of years now so when the opportunity presented itself on the first day of legal tampering, I couldn’t turn it down.”
- Cabot mentions that despite signing veteran QB Case Keenum, there won’t be a QB controversy for the Browns this summer.
- Cabot adds the Browns are still undecided on DE Olivier Vernon, due to the fact that good edge rushers are scarce.
- Cabot believes the team will draft their left tackle of the future with the No. 10 pick in the draft unless they complete a trade with the Redskins to acquire LT Trent Williams.
- Despite speculation, Cabot says WR Odell Beckham is not on the trade block, and Vikings S Anthony Harris is currently not in the Browns’ plans after they signed S Andrew Sendejo earlier this week.
Ravens C Matt Skura‘s catastrophic knee injury in Week 12, where he tore his ACL, MCL and PCL, cost him more than the end of the season. Skura was potentially looking at the second-round tender as a restricted free agent this offseason but Baltimore was able to keep him with the original round tender given the uncertainty around his rehab. The difference in the two tenders was about $1.1 million, which is money Skura won’t ever see. Still, he’s choosing to dwell on what he can control — his recovery and proving himself in a contract year in 2020.
“I definitely felt like, ‘This kind of sucks, possibly losing out on an extra million in salary,’” Skura said via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “But I mean, right now, I’ve just got to deal with it and say, ‘It is what it is,’ and go out and show that I’m still the same great player that they loved before, and hopefully that pays off and instead of just a million-dollar difference. You know it will be much more and so now we’re talking about tens of millions of dollars.”
- The Ravens had some interest in LB Jordan Jenkins before he re-signed on a one-year, $5 million deal with the Jets. (Manish Mehta)
- The Ravens have also had talks to potentially bring back LB Josh Bynes and WR Chris Moore who still remain unsigned. (Jeff Zrebiec)
- Texans S Eric Murray‘s three-year, $18 million deal includes a $4.5 million signing bonus, base salaries of $2.75 million (guaranteed), $5 million, $3.5 million of which is guaranteed, and $5 million. (Aaron Wilson)
- Murray has up to $750,000 in annual playing time incentives and an annual $200,000 workout base de-escalator.
- Texans LS Jon Weeks‘ one-year, 1.187 million deal includes a $137,500 signing bonus, $1.05 million base salary with $112,500 fully guaranteed and the veteran salary benefit. (Wilson)