NFC Notes: Falcons, Rams, Seahawks



Falcons TE Austin Hooper set new career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns in 2019, making him a prime candidate for a new deal to stay in Atlanta. Hooper says he’s open to the possibility but has yet to receive an offer from the cap-strapped Falcons, who have a lot of book-keeping to do to get things in order for the 2020 offseason. 

“I’m not going to speak on that too much,” Hooper said via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s a business. I’m open to coming back here. I don’t know . . . I haven’t received an offer yet. If I do, I’d definitely like to be here, but at the same time, it’s a business. I’m going to let my representation and the representation for the Falcons handle that.”


The Rams have found themselves in an interesting team-building pickle just a year after representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. Los Angeles won’t have a first-round pick until 2022 and hasn’t made a first-round selection since 2016, electing to trade those picks for premium players like WR Brandin Cooks and CB Jalen Ramsey. Those players also require or will require premium deals, making it harder for Rams GM Les Snead to address the number of holes that have popped up on the roster in 2019. However, he wouldn’t have it any other way. 

“I would rather be where we’re at now than trying to get here,” Snead said via Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. “Because trying to get here, you don’t know if you can get here . . . But it’s a different formula.”

Snead believes QB Jared Goff and RB Todd Gurley were worth their record-breaking contracts, despite the team finishing 9-7 and missing the playoffs. 

“Those are human beings that gave a lot to this organization and deserve to be compensated,” Snead said, via Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. 

Regarding the Rams’ salary cap situation, Snead pointed out that the NFL’s salary cap will increase from $188.2 million to about $200 million in 2020, while the team could look into trades to gain cap space. 

“From a salary-cap standpoint, and I assume the cap does go up, there’s a new collective bargaining agreement that’s coming that’s another variable that we don’t know about,” Snead said. “We’ve shown in the past that when you have commodities that you might move on with via trade to collect draft capital that maybe the perception says you don’t have and to clear cap space.”

  • Snead admitted that Gurley wasn’t as effective this season as in years past. 
  • As for the Rams’ plans at left tackle, Snead said that will be a “harder piece of the puzzle” given Andrew Whitworth is set to be an unrestricted free agent. (Thiry)
  • Rams DL Michael Brockers, who is a pending free agent, suffered a sprained ankle but will not require surgery. (Thiry)


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