One of the Tennessee Titans‘ biggest free-agent signings this offseason came on March 21 when the team signed tight end Austin Hooper.

Hooper, a former third-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons out of Stanford, signed a one-year deal with the Titans worth $6 million.

That was already a solid deal for Tennessee. Hooper, after all, has reached two Pro-Bowls during his career. But the deal looks even better after the details of tight end David Njoku’s extension with the Cleveland Browns were revealed on Friday.

Njoku’s deal with the Browns is worth $57 million over four years (an annual average value of $14.5 million).

Hooper and Njoku were teammates the last two seasons in Cleveland.

Titans
Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku (85) celebrates Austin Hooper’s touchdown against the New York Giants in the first half of a game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, December 20, 2020, in East Rutherford.
Nyg Vs Cle

Here are their numbers during those two years (these numbers were first pointed out on Twitter by Sports Illustrated’s John Glennon).

  • Hooper — 84 receptions — 780 yds — 7 TDs
  • Njoku — 55 receptions — 688 yds — 6 TDs

Both players played 29 games over the last two years.

There’s no doubt that Njoku is a great player. But I think there’s a valid argument that Tennessee signed the better player — at least judging by the numbers.

Now, even if you think Njoku is better, the point remains — the Titans are getting incredible value for $6 million compared to what the Browns are getting for $14.5 million per year out of Njoku.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson had his hands tied this offseason. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s massive cap hit, combined with wide receiver AJ Brown’s desire to be traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, left Robinson limited in what he could accomplish. But he still managed to address Tennessee’s needs (adding a tight end was arguably the Titans’ biggest need this offseason) while operating within the constraints of the salary cap.

Moves like the Hooper signing typically don’t generate a lot of headlines, but these are the types of signings that end up paying massive dividends for a team.

Featured image via Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports