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Austin Hooper heads into free agency confident many teams are interested

Officially, teams can’t yet tell Falcons tight end Austin Hooper that they’re interested in signing him in free agency. But Hooper is confident there are teams that will be making him lucrative offers.

“It definitely feels good to know that there’s interest out there for me,’' Hooper told ESPN. “I’ve worked hard over my four years in Atlanta to set myself up to be in a position like this, so I’m grateful that stuff like that is coming out.’'

Washington, Chicago and Green Bay are among the teams that reportedly have interest in Hooper, and he made clear he would be very interested in the Packers, whose head coach Matt LaFleur was previously a Falcons assistant.

“When he was a coach in Atlanta, I really liked Matt LaFleur as a person,’' Hooper said. “I wasn’t a quarterback, so I couldn’t really see his coaching style as much. But he definitely helped me out as a younger player. For that, I’ll always be grateful. He’s a good guy; really likable person.’'

The 25-year-old Hooper had the best receiving season of his career last year, catching 75 passes for 787 yards and six touchdowns. He’ll likely prove to be too expensive for the Falcons, who are near the bottom of the NFL in available salary cap space.