Cleveland Browns picking up David Njoku’s 5th year shows team has options

Cleveland Browns David Njoku. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns David Njoku. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns picked up David Njoku’s 5th-year option despite only entering year four of his deal, which lead to many asking why?

Some will tell you that the Cleveland Browns are super high on David Njoku and want to keep him around. That’s their reasoning for why the team picked up Njoku’s option. That’s not really it at all, considering the team signed a top-five tight end in free agency and picked one of the more vaunted tight end prospects in the NFL Draft. The team didn’t pick up the option on Njoku because they feel he’s going to be a star but merely to keep their options open going forward.

It’s good business to keep a quality asset for as long as possible at a low price. That’s why people still had a desire to buy MySpace despite the fact it was dead. It was cheap and therefore there is potential. Njoku’s fifth-year option will cost the team less to retain him than letting him play out his final year and seeing where it falls. Sure, he could simply underperform and come back on an even cheaper deal, but the peace of mind and the potential that someone would still over-pay exists. It’s the NFL, where players are overpaid all the time.

Hey, Paul Kruger.

Njoku’s fifth year means nothing for his long term future with Cleveland, other than the fact they still hope he has value in some kind of non-gameday way. Njoku could have a bounce-back year playing in mostly heavy formations with Andy Hooper and Andy Janovich. It’s very possible that in some sets he’ll even be the third option. That means that if Njoku does outperform his deal, then maybe the Browns can flip his play for a draft pick or a player at a position of need.

That’s smart business.

So if you’re a fan of Njoku and hope that this option pick-up means he’s going to be a Brown for life, maybe find a new favorite player? More than likely Njoku will be flipped between now and the start of next season. It’s clear the Browns like his value but what is that value? As a starter, a trade piece or as a veteran third-stringer? We’ll find out soon enough, one way or another.

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