The Atlanta Falcons have already taken advantage of the NFL trade deadline with a move of Mohamed Sanu to the Patriots for a second-round pick, and more moves could be coming. The MMQB’s Albert Breer reported Thursday that the Falcons may not be done moving assets.
Breer reiterated reports that pass rusher Vic Beasley is on the trade block, but he also mentioned that the team is getting inquiries on tight end Austin Hooper, and that those are being “rebuffed thus far.”
Breer also mentioned outside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, a four-year starter on an expiring deal, as a name to watch for Atlanta at the trade deadline.
All of this makes a lot of sense. The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz indicated earlier this week that the Falcons have a hope of keeping Hooper past this season on an extension, which would make a deadline trade very much a long shot. Hooper’s emergence as a top-performing tight end has been a rare bright spot in a dismal season; holding onto him is the smart play.
If Hooper walks the team would likely get a compensatory pick anyhow, but the aim for now seems to be locking him in for the future.
Former Falcons Assistant GM Scott Pioli shared his doubts about Atlanta being able to hang on to Hooper with his impending price tag in a recent interview with Adam Schein. Pioli projected potentially an annual salary of up to $10 million a year for Hooper.
Whether Hooper is sticking around in Atlanta is anyone’s guess, but it seems right now, even though teams are calling, the Falcons aren’t interested in moving him.
Campbell would be an intriguing option, though. He’s generallyn been a good-but-not-great player for the team, even though this isn’t his best season in a Falcons uniform.
The odds of Campbell returning in 2020 with his impending price tag on a new deal are low. If the team wants a 2020 pick for him rather than a likely compensatory pick in 2021, trading him now for a mid-round draft pick wouldn’t be the worst option.
We’ve got until next Tuesday, Oct. 29, for trades to fall through, so we’ll see if the Falcons make any waves.