One week ago, it was reported that Cleveland was intent on making a sizeable commitment to the 25-year-old. Specifically, a deal paying him eight figures per season on average was said to be what the team is willing to offer. That came as a surprise to many, mainly because of the presence of Austin Hooperand his contract. The former Falcon signed a then record-breaking deal for tight ends, which keeps him on the books in Cleveland until 2024.
For each of the next two seasons, Hooper will carry a cap hit of $13.25MM. If he plays on the tag, Njoku will make $10.8MM, giving the Browns an expensive tandem at the position, especially considering their combined production. In 2021, the pair totalled 820 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Nevertheless, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirms that the team is treating the tag as simply a means of buying time for a long-term extension (Twitter link).
A first round pick in 2017, Njoku’s best season came one year later, when he posted 56 catches for 639 yards and four majors. Despite not putting up eye-popping numbers during his five seasons with the team, he has ultimately shown a willingness to stick around, in spite of the investment made in Hooper. For at least one more campaign, he will be able to do just that.
After bringing Cody Parkey in for a workout and a subsequent visit, the Browns are indeed keeping the veteran kicker around.
Parkey agreed to join Cleveland’s practice squad. He represents kicker insurance behind incumbent Austin Seibert, whom the Browns — under the previous John Dorsey regime — drafted in the fifth round last year.
This marks a return to Cleveland for Parkey, who kicked in 14 Browns games in 2016. He made 80% of his field goals that year. The Browns have used different kickers in each of the past six seasons, though Seibert looks likely to snap that streak. He will have Parkey, a 2014 Pro Bowler with the Eagles, representing continual competition, however.
Former Titans third-round wide receiver Taywan Taylor also landed on the Browns’ practice squad. Taylor, who posted 466 receiving yards in 2018, was with the Browns last year and in training camp this year.
Following their Tuesday addition of tackle Greg Senat to the practice-only crew, here is the Browns’ squad:
September 5th, 2020 at 1:22pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Browns became the second team after the Panthers to officially announce their initial 53-man roster, waiving 24 players to get down. Here’s everybody they cut, with a recap on some notables at the bottom:
One of the biggest names on this list is Thomas, who the Browns drafted 67th overall in 2018. He barely played as a rookie, but he started eight games and had four sacks last year. The Browns are loaded along the defensive line, so it would’ve been tough for him to find snaps. He’s a definite practice squad candidate assuming he doesn’t get claimed.
Taylor flashed some potential with the Titans and had 466 yards with Tennessee in 2018, but failed to make a dent after getting traded to Cleveland last year. Ratley is another receiver who got cut, and he started three games each of the past two years. The 2018 sixth-rounder from Texas A&M had 200 yards and a touchdown last season.
Gilbert spent last season as Baker Mayfield‘s backup after he lit it up in the ill-fated AAF, but he was made expendable by the offseason addition of Case Keenum. He should get another shot elsewhere or on the practice squad.