One week ago, it was reported that the Browns had tabled a contract offer to tight end David Njoku. According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, a deal could be coming in the near future.
[RELATED: Browns Submit Offer To Njoku]
As Cabot notes, the 25-year-old is currently away from the team during OTAs while negotiations continue. The team used the franchise tag on him in March, which would pay him $10.9MM in the absence of a long-term deal. The move was seen as something of a surprise, given Njoku’s inconsistent production and the presence (at the time) of Austin Hooper.
With the latter out of the picture now, and the arrival of Deshaun Watson at quarterback, expectations are high for the former first round pick. The Browns have maintained their desire to keep Njoku in the fold, and the two sides were engaged in contract talks at the beginning of April. The fact that the Miami product is the undisputed No. 1 at his position on one hand, and his career-high in receiving yards being just 639 on the other, make this situation an intriguing one.
Cabot adds (via Twitter) that the sides are “very close” on the matter of the deal’s average value of around $13MM. That figure is right in line with the amount reported last week, and would move Njoku into the top five in the league in terms of annual compensation. Cabot reports that the main impediment to a contract being finalized is the matter of guaranteed money, but that the deal could finalized by the end of the week.
If it does get done, that would place even higher expectations on Njoku within the Browns’ new-look offense. It would also likely have a notable ripple effect on the contract demands of Mike Gesicki and Dalton Schultz, whom the Dolphins and Cowboys, respectively, franchise tagged this offseason as well.
9 comments on “Browns Nearing Extension With TE David Njoku”
this will be the next guy they’re willing to give up draft picks to get rid of
At some point I’ll understand Cleveland’s infatuation with this guy, but not yet.
Ah yes, pay the 5th best TE in the division TE1 money. Go ahead Cleveland, stay in the same gutter you have been in forever.
5th best? I’m not suggesting Njoku is necessarily worth this kind of money, but that’s a stretch.
Obviously, Andrews is better. However, Hurst is very comparable (produces when given starter reps, but cedes targets to a more talented alternative). Freiermuth, while laden with more potential, is currently on the same level.
Who else do you think is better? Boyle? Bryant? Sample? Gentry? No way
Boyle is the best blocking TE in the league and has average hands. He is miles better than Njoku. Sample is far superior in game scenarios and utility.
If you can’t block (Which Hurst, Andrews, Boyle, and Sample all can) you probably aren’t going to be useful in the AFC North. Njoku is both a horrible fit for the division, but specifically for the browns offense now that they are 100% committed to the run and long improv plays with Watson.
I should clarify, that the only people who have graded better in overall blocking in the full seasons Boyle has played are all Tackles. He is better than every interior offensive lineman at blocking. Better than every fullback. Better than every TE. He was the 10th best overall blocker in football in 2019 and 2020. Behind only 9 tackles.
I don’t see how Njoku is any worse at blocking than Hurst. On the contrary, Hurst has struggled in this regard of late, while Njoku graded out as an average blocker this past season.
I agree that Boyle is an outstanding blocker and recognize his pass-catching ability is at least adequate. That said, it is apparent NFL teams monetarily value outstanding receiving ability over superb blocking. This is simply because blocking tight ends are easier to find than reliable pass-catchers. I would say Boyle is a better player, but that doesn’t mean he is wont to make more.
Sample is a solid run blocker, but I fail to see how he is anywhere near as versatile in the passing game as Njoku, given the latter’s athleticism. At best, him and Hurst are comparable in ability.
I don’t believe Njoku is necessarily better than the following players, but I don’t see how he is definitely worse either. Thus, I do not believe describing him as the 5th-best tight end in the division is appropriate
friermuth is obviously better
he’s a top 10 TE in the league
Njoku’s collection of dirty pictures of the Haslams must be something.