It doesn’t take a football genius to see that Cam Newton and the New England Patriots are in desperate need of some offensive weapons. The Cleveland Browns’ David Njoku has reportedly reiterated his desire to be traded, and the Patriots are coming up in the discussion again.
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The Cleveland Browns’ David Njoku Still Wants to Be Traded: Report
Scott McLaughlin of WEEI speculated:
Based on Cabot’s report, it seems Njoku is unhappy with the situation and wants to go somewhere he’ll have a more prominent role.
Njoku had originally asked for a trade back in July, but he rescinded the request. He played decently in the Browns’ Week 1 loss but missed the next three games with an injury.
He again showed some flashes in the Week 6 blow out, but he seems stuck behind Auston Hooper and battling rookie Harrison Bryant for the second TE spot. Njoku played 23 snaps on Sunday to 21 for Bryant.
It seems clear Njoku wants to be the primary tight end on a team, and he’d arguably be the No. 1 option in the New England passing game. He’s an excellent athlete at the position.
At 6’4″ 246 pounds, Njoku ran a 4.64 40-yard dash and flashed a 37.5″ vertical leap at the NFL Combine. Still, he’s yet to have a breakout year, and injuries are playing a role on that front. After trending upward in his first two seasons with 88 catches and 8 TDs over that span, injuries have cost him 15 of the last 22 contests.
One Patriots Writer Says the Team Should Inquire About Njoku
Despite the potential injury concerns, Dakota Randall of NESN is all for the Patriots pursuing Njoku in a trade. He points to the obvious stagnation of the Patriots’ current attack and a lack of belief in young tight ends Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene.
The Patriots need a lot of help on offense. Void of dynamic playmakers not named Cam Newton, New England’s offense isn’t scaring anyone, with Sunday’s ugly loss to the Denver Broncos offering the latest evidence. And while there isn’t one cure-all for what currently ails the Patriots, one potential remedy reportedly is available. The Patriots absolutely should give Cleveland a call. If New England wants to go anywhere this season, it must get far more production at wide receiver and at least some production from the tight end position. Ryan Izzo is fine but nothing more. The Patriots surely hoped to receive contributions from rookie tight ends from Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene, but the former has yet to receive a single target and the latter can’t even get on the field.
When you use two third-round picks on the same position as the Patriots did with Asiasi and Keene, there is an expectation the team will receive at least some production or promise from the selections. Neither man has made a catch this season. Asiasi played a season-high 42 percent of the snaps on Sunday, but he had no targets. Keener hasn’t even been able to make it onto the field.
Instead, the Patriots have been going mostly with Ryan Izzo who has a pedestrian six catches for 82 yards on the season with three of those receptions happening on Sunday.
Adding Njoku wouldn’t be the splashiest move, and it would create a conundrum moving forward as it pertains to Asiasi and Keene, but making this kind of trade could be the difference in saving the 2020 season and missing the postseason.