David Njoku knows the Cleveland Browns have to make a big decision regarding his future and is waiting anxiously to see what direction they decide to go.
Njoku issued a tweet on Wednesday that seemed to indicate that he’s watching the seconds tick down until 4 p.m. ET, when the league year officially starts. That’s when his $6 million salary for this season becomes guaranteed thanks to the Browns executing his fifth-year option last offseason.
Njoku’s future in Cleveland is very much up in the air. He requested a trade last season but the Browns decided to keep him on the roster. However, Cleveland has reportedly been shopping Njoku — per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated — in hopes of getting some value back. It’s unknown if the Browns would be willing to release Njoku, considering $6 million is a fairly steep price to pay for a No. 3 tight end, especially with the cap coming down.
Despite falling on the depth chart, Njoku managed to find the field quite a bit last season thanks to head coach Kevin Stefanski’s love for tight ends. While he improved as a blocker, he finished the year catching just 19 balls for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Njoku added 5 catches for 66 yards in the postseason.
UPDATE: Njoku celebrated his contract becoming guaranteed with a tweet at nearly 4 p.m. on the dot.
Browns Unaware if David Njoku is Disgruntled
Njoku has been the king of cryptic social media messages, the most recent being his emoji-filled message.
Earlier this offseason Njoku, a former first-round pick of the Browns in 2017, delivered a cryptic Instagram post, possibly hinting at his situation in Cleveland.
“The truth will be revealed,” he wrote.
Njoku also jumped on social media and appeared to send his goodbyes to Browns fans. He recently responded to one, saying: “Whatever happens I appreciate all the love from all my loyal fans. I’ve kept quiet for a while but I wanted to express that at least for now. I love u guys.”
Stefanski told reporters during a press conference earlier this month that he was “not aware” of Njoku not being “all in” on his future in Cleveland.
“David is somebody who I respect and value, the production he gave us on the field and the teammate he is. As it relates to him in particular, I am not aware of that,” Stefanski said. “I know I have had a lot of conversations with a lot of players over the course of the season and over the course of many seasons so I will continue to have that dialogue with all of our guys to see where they are, but I am not aware of anything in particular with David.”
David Njoku Said He & Browns Were Not on Same Page
Last year was complicated for Njoku, which he opened up about during a national radio interview with Jim Rome.
“We weren’t really on the same page, the Browns and I,” Njoku told Rome. “We were trying to figure things out, trying to make sure both parties were happy and it was very complicated.”
Njoku was also very vague about his future in Cleveland.
“That’s a good question,” Njoku said when asked about returning to the Browns. “I’m not going to answer that right now. I have no comment towards that at this moment. I’m just going to enjoy my family, my friends, and my loved ones. I have a couple of projects happening in the near future, so I’m just focused on the right now and I’ll let everything handle itself in the near future.”
Njoku has shown in spurts that he can be a reliable weapon in an offense, possessing ridiculous athleticism. He’s a physical specimen at 6-foot-4 and around 250 pounds with 4.6 40-yard dash speed. We’ll see if a team is willing to pony us some assets to give him a fresh start.