The Cleveland Browns made a big decision on Monday regarding former first-round picks Myles Garrett and David Njoku, picking up the fifth-year options for the members of the 2017 draft.
The move means both will have at least two more years with the Browns — Njoku catching balls from the tight end position and Garrett sacking quarterbacks at a near historic rate for the franchise.
There were certainly more questions around Njoku than Garrett when it came to the option, with the former Miami standout struggling last season.
Andrew Berry, Browns executive vice president of football operations and general manager, gave Njoku a vote of confidence after the draft, saying he was in the Browns future plans. A benefit for Njoku is that new head coach Kevin Stefanski runs an offense that features tight ends quite a bit.
“It is a very tight end friendly system. To David in particular, our perspective remains the same,” Berry said follow in the draft. “I have been pretty consistent this offseason in terms of we still have a ton of belief in David. He is very talented. Obviously, he was not on the field much last year, but he is a guy with outstanding physical tools, he has proven NFL production and we still think the future is very bright with him here. David has always been and continues to be in our plans, and we are going to continue to add competition all across the roster.”
David Njoku Tweets After Option Picked Up
Shortly after the news was announced that the team would be picking up the options, Njoku tweeted out with a celebratory message with Myles Garrett tagged.
Garrett responded with a GIF saying, “Huge me brotha.”
Njoku is seeking a bounce-back year after suffering a fractured wrist in Week 2 last season. He battled back into the lineup in Week 14, but dropped a ball that turned into an interception, leading him to be a healthy scratch the next two weeks. He suited up for the Browns final game of the season, but played just four snaps. In all, he had just five catches for 41 yards and one touchdown last season.
Njoku — the 29th overall pick in the 2017 draft — is a physical specimen at 6-foot-4, 246 pounds with 4.6 40-yard dash speed. In his second season, Njoku essentially doubled his production in the passing game from his rookie year, collecting 56 catches for 639 yards and four touchdowns.
Browns Bring on TEs Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant
The Browns have bolstered their tight end spot through free agency and the draft. First, the team inked former Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper to a big-money deal in free agency. Hooper set career highs last season with 75 receptions, 787 receiving yards, and six touchdowns.
Then the team added Harrison Bryant in the fourth round of the draft. Bryant played his college ball at Florida Atlantic and is 6-foot-5 and 243 pounds. He got progressively better each season with the Owls, culminating with a season season where he collected 65 catches, 1,007 yards and seven touchdowns. Bryant was named first team All-Conference USA and received the John Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end last season.
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