Latest On David Njoku, Browns

When we learned yesterday of tight end David Njoku‘s trade request, it was assumed that the former first-rounder was displeased with his demotion on the depth chart following the Austin Hooper signing. While that could certainly be the case, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweets that the Browns front office has been aware of Njoku’s unhappiness for “about a year.”

Further, while yesterday’s reports indicated that the Browns would be seeking a first-rounder for Njoku, “sources with other teams” believe that’s an unrealistic asking price. Rather, those sources opine that Njoku would be worth a fourth- or fifth-round draft pick. Meanwhile, Jason Fitzgerald of points to the Hayden Hurst trade, where the Ravens received a second-round pick in exchange for the former first-round tight end. Considering Hurst had two years remaining and an option year, Fitzgerald pegs Njoku’s trade value at around a third-round pick.

The Browns already exercised Njoku’s fifth-year option for 2021, but that’s guaranteed for injury only. In other words, there’s a chance that the tight end finds himself hitting free agency following the 2020 campaign, and Cleveland’s added depth at tight end could diminish his value. The Browns signed Hooper to a four-year, $42MM deal this offseason, and they also selected Harrison Bryant in the fourth round.

Of course, there’s still optimism that Njoku could contribute this season. As Nate Ulrich of the Beacon Journal notes, the Browns have continually praised the 23-year-old throughout the offseason, and they’ve hinted that he’ll still have a major role in the offense. Ulrich also observes that new Browns head coach (and former Vikings offensive coordinator) Kevin Stefanski had a pair of tight ends on the field 57-percent of the time during his stint in Minnesota.

Njoku’s unique size and speed made him first-round pick in 2017, and he started to live up to that promise in 2018 when he started 14 games and caught 56 passes for 639 yards and four TDs. Unfortunately, a wrist injury wiped out most of his 2019 season. As he gets closer to free agency, the tight end decided to switch up his representation; we learned yesterday that Njoku had hired Drew Rosenhaus as his agent.

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13 comments on “Latest On David Njoku, Browns

  1. Appalachian_Outlaw

    He’d be worth trading away a 4th rd pick for, just to take a flyer on. He’s shown some flashes. I can’t imagine why anyone would bid any higher?

    I think he stays a Brown, though. They’re not so deep where you just trade him for less than what they feel he’s worth, and he’s not a talent you overpay for in a trade.

    • The Human Rain Delay

      Not even sure id give a 4th-

      Being a 1st rder hes not cheap next year (especially for a te) and best case scenario he balls out and he wants even more money then (seems to be certain looking at his attitude today)

  2. Connorsoxfan

    I wonder if the Pats would take a swing and send out one of the rookie TE’s they just took. Draft pick equivalent value lines up about right and the Browns get some tangible value for the current season still

    • The Human Rain Delay

      Naw Beli would want to keep the money saved-

      Njiku makes 6 mill next year do to being a first rder

  3. mcmillankmm

    Feel like Njoku has shown much more in his 3 years than Hurst has shown…..would think the same compensation would be reasonable.

  4. jb19

    If some team offered the Browns a conditional 3rd or a 3rd round pick, they would be stupid not to make that trade… he’s a backup, even in the 2 TE sets, he’s “the other TE.” Njoku has shown very little in the 3 years as a pro. I was surprised the browns picked up his 5th year option.

    • Michael Chaney

      His draft class is the last class that fifth year options are only guaranteed for injury, so they can still drop him without penalty next year as long as he passes a physical. At that point, it made sense to take the gamble because if he looks good this year then his fifth year option would probably be a discount over his market value anyway.

      • jb19

        I would be ok if the browns just dropped him. I don’t think he’s a good football player. Let alone pay him $6 million for one year. If we just played Hooper, Bryant and Carlson, I don’t think we would even notice Njoku is gone.

  5. nentwigs

    I can completely understand David Njoku trade request.
    Based on the picture…
    The barbers there in Cleveland are terrible.

  6. Simmons>Russ

    Browns should trade Njoku for a third/fourth round pick.

    Cut Oliver Vernon and then sign Jadeveon Clowney to a 1 year 14 mil deal and also sign Alec Ogletree to a 1 year 1.5 mil deal

    Browns get back a pick, cut to clear cap space for Clowney and also get Ogletree for a price it deal.

    Browns have a loaded offence and with these moves improve their defence. They would have a solid front 4 and have a solid back 4. Ogletree who was a first round pick in 2013 would get the chance to try find that level of play with in a good defence with Sheldon Richardson who was also a first round pick from that draft class.

  7. rgreen

    Browns should try sending Njoku and a pick or 2 to the Jets for Adams.Both players can get their fresh starts.Jets could get a young te to develop with their young qb,and the Browns can get one of the best young safeties,and give themselves potentially one of the better defensive backfields.

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