David Njoku might want out of Cleveland, but that doesn’t mean he lacks love for the city he came up in the NFL with.
“I want to make something very clear,” he wrote. “I love the city of Cleveland with all my heart. This game is filled with a lot of complications but don’t think for a second that I don’t love and appreciate Cleveland and all that it has done for me.”
I want to make something very clear. I love the city of Cleveland with all my heart. This game is filled with a lot of complications but don’t think for a second that I don’t love and appreciate Cleveland and all that it has done for me💯
— Chief David Njoku (@David_Njoku80) July 20, 2020
Njoku had been hearing it in the comment sections on social media since asking to be dealt by the Browns, something he referenced in a tweet. “Haha I love the hate it’s that 93 in the gas station for me,” Njoku recently wrote on Twitter.
Browns Executed David Njoku’s Fifth-Year Option
The Browns selected Njoku with the No. 29 pick in the 2017 draft. He showed some solid upside through his first two seasons, but Njoku suffered a fractured wrist in Week 2 last season and he didn’t make it back into the lineup until Week 14. But some drops put him in the doghouse of former head coach Freddie Kitchens and he was a healthy scratch the next two weeks. Njoku suited up for the Browns final game of the season, but played just four snaps. Njoku had just five catches for 41 yards and one touchdown last season.
Despite his struggles last season, the Browns decided to pick up Njoku’s option for a fifth-year, meaning he has at least two more seasons left in Cleveland (or somewhere else if they trade him). The team is hoping that they can see the Njoku that showed major upside and chemistry with Browns QB Baker Mayfield during his second season, when he notched 56 catches for 639 yards and four touchdowns.
Browns Bulked up TE Depth in Offseason
Njoku switched agents this offseason and almost immediately had Rosenhaus demand a trade.
“Browns TE David Njoku and his agent Drew Rosenhaus asked today for the team to trade him,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter said in a tweet. “The Browns told Njoku they would like to keep him, but Rosenhaus told them he’s intent on a trade. They want a trade before training camp.”
“It is in David’s best interest to find a new team at this time,” Rosenhaus told Schefter.
1/2 Browns’ TE David Njoku and his agent Drew Rosenhaus asked today for the team to trade him. The Browns told Njoku they would like to keep him, but Rosenhaus told them he’s intent on a trade. They want a trade before training camp.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 3, 2020
What was likely the reasoning for Njoku’s request was the amount of work the team did to bulk up the tight end depth this offseason. New head coach Kevin Stefanski is expected to run a system that utilizes the TE position a lot, so tight ends with varying skill sets will be needed. Cleveland signed former Falcon Austin Hooper to the richest tight end deal in the league, and also went after John Mackey award-winning TE Harrison Bryant in the fourth-round of this year’s draft
The Browns have reportedly been adamant that they don’t want to deal Njoku unless they get the right kind of value back.