The trade drama between David Njoku and the Cleveland Browns has apparently reached its end, with the former first-round pick saying he’s “all in” with the team.
Njoku arrived to training camp on schedule, despite his trade demand last month. His latest tweet suggests he’s ready to drop his request to the Browns’ brass to deal him.
“I’m all in Cleveland,” Njoku wrote on Twitter. “Time to work.”
I’m all in Cleveland. Time to work.
— Chief David Njoku (@David_Njoku80) August 1, 2020
Cleveland.com Browns beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot confirmed with a source that Njoku no longer wants a trade shortly after the tweet.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 1, 2020
Through his new agent Drew Rosenhaus, Njoku demanded a ticket out of town from Cleveland in early July, with Rosenhaus telling ESPN’s Adam Schefter: “It is in David’s best interest to find a new team at this time.” Njoku wanted a new team by the time training camp rolled around, which wasn’t the case.
Rosenhaus released a new statement following the news, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Rosenhaus said Njoku had, “good meetings with the new Browns’ organization including GM Andrew Berry and he has decided to give the team his full commitment right now and go from there.
Browns’ TE David Njoku, who requested a trade earlier this summer, has had “some good meetings with the new Browns’ organization including GM Andrew Berry and he has decided to give the team his full commitment right now and go from there,” said his agent, @RosenhausSports.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 1, 2020
“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.”
Browns Not Willing to Deal David Njoku
The Browns have been consistent in saying that Njoku would not be traded.
“We believe in David, excited to work with him,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said, via the team website. “I’ll get to finally be in the same room as him this weekend – he’s coming in for physicals – and then get out on the field with him Monday. Excited to work with him.”
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 from his rookie year, collecting 56 catches for 639 yards and four touchdowns.
However, Njoku stumbled last season with a broken wrist and a bad relationship with the coaching staff. He had just five catches for 41 yards and one touchdown in Year 3 and was a healthy scratch down the stretch. The team recently executed Njoku’s fifth-year option, meaning he’s under contract for at least two more seasons.
Browns Need TE Depth Under Kevin Stefanski
The Browns added some big pieces at tight end this offseason in Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant. In just 13 games played last season with Atlanta, Hooper set career highs last season with 75 receptions, 787 receiving yards and six touchdowns. The Browns signed him to the richest tight end deal in the NFL this offseason as a free agent.
Bryant, a rookie taken in the fourth round, 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.
Last season when Stefanski called the plays in Minnesota, he used multiple tight ends a league-high 57 percent of the time (h/t ESPN’s Jake Trotter).