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Report: Falcons won’t trade TE Austin Hooper

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Hooper’s expected to stick around.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Hooper has emerged as one of the best tight ends in the league this season. His contract is up after this year, but the Falcons aren’t expected to try to move one of its best young players at the 2019 trade deadline.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that, despite cap concerns and a looming extension to work out, the Falcons intend to hold on to Hooper.

Heading into Week 8 against the Seahawks, Hooper ranked No. 1 in the NFL among tight ends with 46 receptions. He’s second in the league behind the ChiefsTravis Kelce with 526 yards, and his four touchdowns have him tied at the top of the NFL with the Seahawks’ Will Dissly.

Hooper has proven to be a reliable target for Matt Ryan, and he’s really come into his own this year. The Falcons have enough talent that they don’t need to undertake a complete rebuild. Hooper’s a player the Falcons can, and should, be planning around long-term.