Raiders sign ex-Pro Bowl tight end to compete for starting spot
The Raiders added their second tight end in three days with the signing of veteran Austin Hooper on Wednesday. They also signed cornerback David Long.
Updated March 22, 2023 - 3:21 pm
The Raiders added another tight end to the group with the signing of veteran Austin Hooper on Wednesday.
Hooper, 28, is a seven-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowler. Playing with the Falcons, Browns and Titans, the former Stanford standout has 339 catches for 3,468 yards and 25 touchdowns in his career.
His best seasons came in back-to-back Pro Bowl years with the Falcons when he combined for 146 catches for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2018 and 2019.
After leaving Atlanta, Hooper played two seasons in Cleveland and last season in Tennessee, where he had 41 catches for 444 yards and two touchdowns.
Hooper is the second tight end the Raiders signed in the past three days, joining O.J. Howard on Monday. They are expected to replace Darren Waller, traded to the Giants last week.
With Hooper and Howard and wide receivers Jakobi Meyers, Phillip Dorsett and Cam Sims signed during free agency, the Raiders’ skill group will look vastly different compared to last season.
The Raiders also signed veteran cornerback David Long on Wednesday to a one-year contract.
Long, 25, had played his entire four-year career with the Rams after being selected out of Michigan in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He has appeared in 52 games, including 10 starts, and had a total of 61 tackles and one interception the past two seasons.
Long was drafted for a Rams defense coached by coordinator Wade Phillips, whose 3-4 defensive scheme was based on press-coverage cornerbacks. It was an ideal fit for the 5-foot-11-inch Long, who was proficient in man coverage at Michigan. Over the years, though, the Rams shifted to more of a zone scheme after moving on from Phillips.
Long’s man-cover skill set could be a fit under Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
Contacts Vincent Bonsignore at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.