David Njoku appears fully committed to the Cleveland Browns after a tumultuous year, reaffirming that in a social media post this week.
It’s been just over a year since the former first-round pick demanded a trade and a lot has happened since. After not being dealt prior to the season or at the deadline, Njoku recommitted to the Browns entering his final year under contract. Njoku has displayed his team-first mentality multiple times on social media and did so again recently.
“You’re right where you need to be,” Njoku tweeted. “Enjoy the full process.”
This season will be Njoku’s fifth in the NFL and it will be his most lucrative thanks to a fifth-year option the Browns executed last offseason. He’ll make a little more than $6 million this season, which is almost double his previous high in pay.
While the money is nice, Njoku seems genuniely invested in the team that drafted him in 2017 and proceeded to go 0-16. Now, the Browns are a highly-touted Super Bowl contender and he likely wants to stick around to help the team capitalizes on that potential and complete the turnaround.
Njoku Will Battle for Reps
Njoku’s trade reuqest last year came after the Browns acquired Austin Hooper via free agency. After that, the team drafted John Mackey Award winner Harrison Bryant in the fourth-round, taking more reps away from Njoku.
Njoku notched just 19 catches for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He added five catches for 66 yards in the postseason and improved as a blocker, which made him useful beyond catching the ball in Kevin Stefanski’s offense, which makes the most of multiple tight end sets.
While Hooper was the big splash — inking a four-year, $42 million deal — he didn’t have an outstanding year, notching 46 catches for 435 yards and four touchdowns. That being said, the Browns are excitied about the tight end group as a whole heading into the new season.
“We have a heck of a tight end group. Really happy with that group overall and the way they work. If you went back and you watched the minicamp, I would say Austin had more catches than anyone else in this camp,” Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said during minicamp. “We have definite ways to get him the football. Also, very impressed with David Njoku and the way he came back. He is running extremely well and catching the ball well. Excited about that. Harrison [Bryant] is really developing now in his second year. That is a group we will lean on heavily, and they do a great job.”
Hooper Looking Forward to More ‘Wrinkles’ in Offense
It was a strange offseason last year, especially for a new head coach trying to install a new offense. The Browns offense really didn’t hit its stride until the second half of the season when the players got some experience under their belt.
“With no offseason and everything that led up to training camp, Stefanski definitely had to keep it pretty vanilla until about halfway through the year when we really understood the schemes,” Hooper told the Browns official site. “After having the full year where we laid it all out there, this is where we can have some more fun with it and add some wrinkles now that we’ve built a good foundation together.”
Hooper and Njoku were also among the players to join quarterback Baker Mayfield for offseason workouts in Florida and Texas, which bodes well for the team going forward.