The Cleveland Browns had to deal with a David Njoku trade demand not too long ago.
The Cleveland Browns may one day see David Njoku take a spot behind Ozzie Newsome as the team’s second-greatest tight end. Njoku is currently 26th all-time in receiving yards in franchise history and is less than 100 yards behind one of the worst human beings in Cleveland Browns’ history, Kellen Winslow Jr.
Newsome is the top Dawg right now not only for receiving yards by a tight end in franchise history but also in just pure receiving yards. No one has more, and Njoku is about 5,500+ yards plus behind Newsome. As far as pure tight ends go, Njoku is fourth, not counting when the position had other names.
Besides Winslow and Newsome, only Milt Morin is ahead of Njoku. So Njoku can make some noise in the all-time lists if his play gets more consistent. His lack of game-to-game consistency was part of the reason the club brought in Austin Hooper in 2020, a move that caused Njoku to ask for a trade.
Njoku kept asking for a trade, well into the 2021 season. Yet the Browns didn’t move him, and Njoku, thanks to Jacboy Brissett, had one of his best seasons ever in 2022. Now, those trade demands are a thing of the past. Yet, when asked by Bleacher Report’s Gridiron, Njoku revealed that it was the signing of Hooper that made him want to ask for a trade.
The Cleveland Browns could still end up moving on from David Njoku
When Njoku, who spoke highly of Hooper as a person, revealed he felt like Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski were finding their guys and bringing them in, that felt very authentic. If you don’t feel like the coaches and front offices see the value you are in, asking for a trade makes sense.
Yet, even though he seems content to stay in Cleveland now, the Browns may still end up moving on from Njoku. The Browns are now in salary cap hell thanks to noted disgraced Deshaun Watson and the Browns’ top receiver from 2022, Amari Cooper. Cooper’s contract will affect the Browns for a year or two after his deal expires, so the team will have to handle the cap implications that come with that.
The Browns could trade Njoku after June 1 to save some money, but if they do need to make a move to save money, that may come next season in 2024, when they can save double, and nearly triple the cash by cutting/trading him before or after June 1 in 2024.
They could restructure him, but then you’re just delaying the payments and causing the same situation to play out in Cleveland that’s playing out in New Orleans and the team can’t afford that.