No Cleveland Browns player has had a more disastrous training camp than TE David Njoku.
The trade value for David Njoku before the start of the Cleveland Browns training camp was already pretty low. Now, after nearly two weeks Njoku is one of the Browns players who has struggled the most. Whatever trade value Njoku had before the start of training camp is gone, and a once potential trade asset has been reduced dramatically so.
A bad camp isn’t the worst thing to happen to a player, as others like Case Keenum and Jedrick Wills have also struggled at times throughout camps, yet they’re safe because there’s no one behind those players that have outperformed them. That’s not the case for Njoku. Both Harrison Bryant and Stephen Carlson have absolutely stepped up during camp so far. With recent acquisition, Austin Hooper entrenched as the starter, and Bryant being seen by many as a steal, it’s entirely possible that the team may have to move on from Njoku by releasing him.
While the team may opt to send Carlson to the practice squad instead and keep Njoku on the main roster, that doesn’t change the fact that the perception on Njoku has changed dramatically in just a handful of weeks.
The other saving grace for Njoku may be Pharrow Brown’s behavior. Already seen as the fourth tight end on the team, he just got into a fight with B.J. Goodson during practice and ended up having head coach Kevin Stefanski talk to him about the situation. With Carlson’s camp performance and the fact that Brown is already fourth on the depth chart to begin with, the team may cut Brown before too long.
As Scott Patsko of Cleveland.com wrote about Brown;
"On the negative side for Brown, he was involved in his second skirmish of camp, this time with B.J. Goodson. Players had to separate the two players. This is becoming a trend for Brown, who got into it during last season’s training camp with Chad Thomas. That resulted in the entire team running laps under head coach Freddie Kitchens."
Cutting Brown may make the Browns pause and re-consider what to do next with the tight ends as a whole. That may benefit Njoku assuming the Browns opt to go with a bit more experience going into the season as opposed to those who just had good camps. That doesn’t change the fact that if Njoku doesn’t make the team, or is traded, his value will have taken a hit after a bad camp.