Browns tight end David Njoku has never had a breakout season in the NFL. That won’t be stopping the Browns from breaking out the checkbook to keep him around.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Browns “definitely” want Njoku back with the team, and that the Browns “are prepared to pay him the double-digit millions he’ll get on the open market.” Cabot adds that the Browns have been talking to Njoku’s agents “for months,” and that the team will try to get a deal done before March 14, when Njoku officially can begin soliciting offers from other teams on the open market.
In 16 games last year, Njoku had 36 catches for 475 yards and four touchdowns. His best season came in 2018, when he caught 56 passes for 639 yards and four touchdowns.
George Kittle leads the tight-end market at $15 million per year. The Browns are currently paying tight end Austin Hooper $10.5 million annually. Hooper had 38 catches for 345 yards and three touchdowns in 2021.
Obviously, if the Browns are thinking about an eight-figure-per-year contract for Njoku, Hooper’s contract will require closer consideration. Hooper is due to make $9.5 million this year. His cap number is $13.25 million, and the cap charge from releasing or trading him before June 1 would be $11.25 million.