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Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Monday, Jan. 13

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Crush some links on a Monday morning.

Monster Jam - Brisbane Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Some coaching news and Austin Hooper speculation in today’s edition of Falcoholinks. Read on to get caught up on what you may have missed over the weekend.

HOOOOPAH?

Austin Hooper will be a hot commodity this offseason, and rightfully so. He finished top five among all qualifying tight ends in receiving yards per game (60.54) and touchdowns (6), and has proven to be an extremely reliable option in the passing game. That means: Payday.

With a Falcons team that’s going to have to get creative regarding cap space, the immediate question is: What are the options with Austin Hooper?

As Matt Ryan’s surefire security blanket, it goes without saying that the Falcons’ air attack will suffer mightily should Hooper not return. In that unfortunate event, are there any free agent options that could fill the void if Austin Hooper heads elsewhere?

And while we’re on the subject, take a look at the Falcons’ post-2019 roster review at the position.

Mike Mularkey retires

This was an unexpected development. Falcons’ tight ends coach and former offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey has decided to hang it up after the 2019 season. It was his first year back with the Atlanta Falcons since the 2011 season.

Austin Hooper experienced his finest year as a pro under Mularkey’s tutelage, so this was certainly a surprising bit of news.

Joe Whitt Jr., Tosh Lupoi added to coaching staff

While the retirement of Mike Mularkey this week was the marquee change on the coaching staff, the Falcons also added a couple of new faces into the mix for 2020. Joe Whitt Jr., most recently with the Cleveland Browns, is set to become a new defensive backs coach for the Atlanta Falcons.

Keeping with the Cleveland theme (hoooboy), the Falcons also brought in the Browns’ former defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi. He will serve as the defensive line and run game coordinator in Atlanta.

Competition is key

The Falcons entered the 2019 with rebuilding the offensive line as the top priority. That failed in spectacular fashion, as Chris Lindstrom would miss the bulk of the year with injury, both free agent guard additions James Carpenter and Jamon Brown ended the season inactive.

2020 will again prove a test of the O-line’s stability and effectiveness, and legitimate competition along the line will be critical to putting a successful group on the field.