Specifically, the front office is “prepared to pay him the double-digit millions” that he’d presumably command on the open market. The team has also had consistent talks with Njoku’s representatives over the past few months. The report seems to hint that Njoku will listen to other suitors, but the Browns will be waiting with a sizable offer.
This news comes as a bit of a surprise after the organization inked Austin Hooper to a hefty four-year, $44MM deal in 2020. Njoku subsequently requested a trade, but his camp rescinded that request a few months later, and the tight end has remained in Cleveland. Things have clearly gotten better between the two sides; before this past season, Njoku made it clear that he wants to stay with the organization.
“I’ve been here (Cleveland) for four years going on five,” Njoku said in August. “I don’t know anything different. I want to keep being here.”
While Njoku will presumably command a hefty pay day when he hits free agency, the former first-round pick hasn’t put up huge numbers during his time in Cleveland. He topped out in 2018 with 639 receiving yards and four touchdowns. After a pair of underwhelming, injury-riddle seasons in 2019 and 2020, the 25-year-old somewhat bounced back in 2021, finishing with 36 receptions for 475 yards and four scores.