David Njoku has made it no secret over the last year that he would like to move on from the Cleveland Browns, seeing his playing time dip last season with the acquisitions of Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant.
Njoku, a former first-round pick of the Browns, delivered a cryptic Instagram post on Saturday, possibly hinting at his situation in Cleveland.
“The truth will be revealed,” he wrote.
The post even prompted a response from Njoku’s teammate, Odell Beckham Jr., another figure involved in consistent trade rumors. Beckham commented on the post “always.”
The comments come just a few weeks after Njoku joined the Jim Rome Show to talk about his future.
“That’s a good question,” Njoku told Rome 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.”
David Njoku Wasn’t on ‘Same Page’ as Browns
Njoku requested a trade prior to the season and there were reports that he wanted out at the trade deadline. However, he ended up staying put in Cleveland, the team refusing to move him without the right compensation.
Njoku missed a trio of games with a knee injury, but still managed to find the field quite a bit in the Browns’ tight-end heavy system, playing just over a third of the snaps. 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.
“We acquired both of them and at first it put me in an interesting position,” Njoku told Rome. “I was confused because the Browns picked up my fifth-year option and they got all of these other tight ends. At the same time, I’ve been hearing that Kevin Stefanski’s offense is very tight-end oriented. So I was optimistic about everything. I was excited to get back to work. With a couple of complications obviously here and there throughout the season, it put me in a predicament where I had nothing to do but just put my head down and work.
“We weren’t really on the same page, the Browns and I,” Njoku added. “We were trying to figure things out, trying to make sure both parties were happy and it was very complicated.
Browns Have Decision to Make With David Njoku
The Browns decided to pick up Njoku’s fifth-year option last offseason, so he’ll be making just over $6 million next season — much more than he made in his previous four seasons. However, it’s not guaranteed until the first day of the league year on March 17, per Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.
That leaves the Browns with a decision — find a trade partner to get something in return for Njoku, keep him on the roster and try to make it work, or simply let him walk before the money is due.
The Browns players have been vocal about the culture shift in Cleveland, and if Njoku is not convinced he can have a role, it’s better off the team lets him walk.