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Raiders sign tight end Austin Hooper

Big changes at tight end

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Tennessee Titans
Austin Hooper
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders, who have been wildly busy this offseason, were expected to make a lot of changes, yet one area not expected to have big changes was tight end.

Yet, the reality is, Las Vegas will have drastic change at tight end this season. Wednesday, that change continued as the team signed former Pro Bowl performer Austin Hooper to a one year deal for a reported deal that can be worth up tp $3.5 million.

Hooper will team with fellow free-agent addition, former first-round pick O.J. Howard

. These two were added after the Raiders’ surprisingly traded standout tight end Darren Waller to the New York Giants last week for the No. 100 pick in the draft. The Raiders also have free agent tight end Foster Moreau, who has visited with both the Cincinnati Bengals and his hometown New Orleans Saints. Moreau could be brought back, but the additions of Hooper and Howard lessen the chances.

Hooper, 28, will likely be the primary receiving tight end in Las Vegas in 2023. He was a Pro Bowl player for Atlanta in 2018 and ‘19, but his production has slipped since. He had 41 catches for 444 yards for the Titans last season. He has had more than 46 catches in the past three seasons. Still, he is a solid player. Howard has 35 catches the past three seasons combined.

Because Hooper and Howard were signed to one-year contracts, expect the Raiders to look at tight ends in the mid rounds of a strong draft class at the position as they continue to remodel the position.