Report: Browns are willing to break the bank for David Njoku

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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.

22 responses to “Report: Browns are willing to break the bank for David Njoku

  1. I’m not sure what Kittle has to do with the conversation about Njoku’s contract. There’s no comparison with Njoku and Kittle. They have both played five seasons. Njoku is averaging ~30 catches per season whereas Kittle is averaging 67. Njoku has 1754 receiving yards during that span. Kittle? 4489 yards. In fact, Kittle had nearly as many catches and yards in 2018 as Njoku has in his career. No way does he deserve Kittle money.

    It’ll be interesting to see what the Browns do. Will they have two $10M+ TEs on their roster? It seems they might as well hang on to Hooper unless they can trade him.

  2. Browns gonna Brown. Njoku isn’t even a top 7 player at his position .. but the Browns will pay him #1 money.

  3. Those numbers are being the # 2 T.E. He should have double the targets of Hooper. Those 2 need to be switched on the roster.

  4. Just when everyone thought the browns had turned a corner a year or two ago. Hold habits die hard I guess.

  5. Caught parts or all of about 6 Browns games last year and thought to myself when watching Njoku…well there’s another wasted 1st round pick; the guy has great athleticism, makes a nice catch now and then (but shouldn’t he given that’s his job, all his has to work on 24/7/365…any of us could make nice catches periodically if that’s all we had to worry about), but drops too many, seems a bit gun-shy going across the middle…a decent 2nd or 3rd string TE on a good team but on a team that wants to be good to great, should not be the #1 TE…and the Browns want to break the bank for him? Sad as it is to say for Browns fans…but the Browns can’t seem to get out of their own way.

  6. Browns run multiple tight end sets 90% of the time so having multiple functional tight ends is a must. Kind of hard to confuse people if you have one clear threat and two decoys that couldn’t catch a cold in antarctica so it makes perfect sense that under the current staff he’d be a key player. Especially considering Njoku was always the go to red zone tight end when he was healthy since the one thing he was unstoppable at was dominating 1 on 1 situations. In fact I believe he lead the team in 2021 in touchdown receptions. Keeping him healthy is the key though.

  7. touchback6 says:
    February 28, 2022 at 10:49 am
    Umm, why?

    What is the matter with these GMs?


    I know right? Some of them even spend big on free agency and yet their defenses yield 7 TDs in 7 straight possessions to the opposing offense! Is that on the GM or the Coach?

  8. In Stefanskis offense, the TEs are featured mismatches they look for. Njoku will get paid pretty significantly. Hes super young, was very raw when drafted and is just going to start entering his prime. The QB play on that team killed every aspect of offensive capability in 21. Hooper will need to restructure….pretty significantly, otherwise he might be cut.

  9. Say what you will about Njoku, but the guy has a lot of raw talent. There were times this year where he was Cleveland’s best athletic threat downfield.

    And why do we dog Cleveland’s current front office if they want to keep a player they’ve developed and believe can help win games? The current front office has had two drafts, both of which were pretty good. I’m looking forward to the third.

  10. This sounds like something an agent put out. This doesn’t even seem right for the Browns.

  11. “Is that on the GM or the Coach?”


    It can’t be either one, it’s on Goodell.

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