The former first-round pick requested a trade almost a month ago. More recently, the ex-Miami Hurricane said he loved Cleveland but cryptically noted the NFL brings “complications.” After some meetings with Browns brass, including GM Andrew Berry, Njoku has recommitted to the team.
Njoku’s dissatisfaction was believed to predate the Browns’ decision to give Austin Hooper a then-tight end-record salary in March. Kevin Stefanski said this week he is eager to work with Njoku, who was drafted two regimes ago. Berry, however, was with the Browns when Sashi Brown selected him.
Despite a disappointing season that resulted in yet another regime change, the Browns return a deep array of skill-position options. While Njoku is on the low end of that group, the Browns picked up his fifth-year option in May. He is under contract through 2021, with manageable salaries of $1.76MM this season and $6MM next year.
The 24-year-old pass-catcher is coming off an injury-marred season. A concussion and a broken wrist sent Njoku to IR in September. He ended up catching just five passes for 41 yards in his third NFL season. He fared much better in 2018, however, hauling in 56 passes for 639 yards and four touchdowns.
Had the Browns kept John Dorsey in place as GM, Njoku may well be out of the picture. But with Berry back in Cleveland, he will have another chance and is on track to work in Stefanski’s two-tight end formations.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.