David Njoku misses ESPN’s top 10 tight ends list, gets honorable mention

“Big-play threat” Njoku got paid for what the Browns think he can do moving forward but his past has him outside ESPN’s top 10 tight ends list:

One of the somewhat overlooked moves this offseason has been the franchise tag and extension given to TE David Njoku by the Cleveland Browns. With everything surrounding QBs Deshaun Watson and Baker Mayfield, it has been a full offseason for the Browns but the return of Njoku was vital for the team.

Austin Hooper was released, joining fellow ‘struggles to get separation‘ star Jarvis Landry out the door.

Unlike the Cincinnati Bengals, who low-balled their franchise-tagged star, safety Jessie Bates, Cleveland gave Njoku a big contract to stick around. That contract makes him the fifth highest paid at his position in the NFL and was just a bit higher than the big deals signed by Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith the year before.

The Browns paid Njoku for what they hope he does in the future, not what he did in the past. The past is not that impressive with less than 1,800 yards in five seasons and a total of 15 touchdowns. His blocking and hands have gotten better over the years but that was not enough to make ESPN’s top 10 tight ends list (subscriber, $).

He did receive an honorable mention:

He is a big-play threat, with 22.2% of his receptions going for 20 or more yards last season (tied for 14th among tight ends). “Great size and speed and has gotten better as a blocker — I’ve just never trusted his hands,” a veteran NFC offensive coach said. Njoku has three drops on 82 targets since 2020.

It is interesting that the article uses that quote, a commonly held misconception about Njoku’s drops, but then proves that quote to be wrong with the data immediately following it.

With Watson, hopefully, his quarterback in 2022, Njoku has a chance to produce at a high level and match his contract. For now, outside of the top 10 makes sense.

Video: TE David Njoku shows off balance, focus during workout

In a video that could cause a regular person to hurt themselves, Njoku shows off his balance and focus as he continues to work hard this offseason:

The Cleveland Browns doubled down on their initial investment in TE David Njoku this offseason. After making the Miami product a first-round pick in 2017, the team placed the franchise tag on him at the start of the league year.

Later, the Browns and Njoku agreed upon a long-term deal that will keep him with the team for years at over $13 million in annual salary.

For some fans, Njoku’s career so far doesn’t make him worth that price. In five seasons, he’s never had more than 639 yards (2018) or four touchdowns (’17, ’18, ’21). His career high in receptions also came in 2018 with 56.

Moving forward, Cleveland is depending on Deshaun Watson’s use of tight ends and Njoku’s continual development. In 2022, it is possible he could be the team’s second-leading receiver.

Njoku’s work ethic has never been questioned, one of the reasons the team’s front office is bought into him. In this video, shared by the NFL’s official account, we see the tight end working on both his balance and concentration:

Not only is he standing on one foot on a balance board but his hands are strapped to bands that provide resistance as he tries to catch the balls thrown randomly at him.

Balance, focus and concentration drills should help him catch as many balls thrown his way as well as help his core strength as a blocker or when running after the catch. An impressive, short video of the highly paid tight end putting in work to get better.

David Njoku to attend Tight End U

Paid like one of the best, now training with some of the best in the NFL at Tight End U:

While Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku hasn’t had the standout statistics that many fans would like to see, his value to the team was recognized when they franchise tagged him before signing him to a big contract. In his five seasons in the league, the Miami product has had 148 receptions for 1,754 yards and 15 touchdowns.

He also missed all but four games in the 2019 season.

With Austin Hooper released, Njoku is clearly the team’s top tight end. The Browns are hoping that QB Deshaun Watson’s history of throwing touchdowns to the position will unlock Njoku’s potential.

Njoku will be joining the whose-who of NFL tight ends at Travis Kelce’s Tight End University:

As noted by Chiefs Wire, a big group is expected and expected to take part in a charity event as well:

So far 24 players have been announced as attending, along with Kelce, Kittle and Olsen. There are also a number of other tight ends who have been invited and participated in a fund-raising event for the Boys & Girls Clubs, who are all expected to be in attendance this week.

Cleveland’s third first-round pick in 2017, Njoku is still just 25 years old with room for continued growth. Learning the position from some of the best in the game can do nothing but help that growth.

John Johnson III has humorous message for David Njoku after new contract

Much like Garrett did when Clowney signed, JJ3 had something funny to say to Njoku after his big deal:

The Cleveland Browns have been busy this offseason, really busy. Outside of their smaller moves and additions through the NFL draft and undrafted free agents, the Browns have added the following players:

  • WR Amari Cooper via trade
    • Restructured his contract
  • QB Deshaun Watson via trade
    • Gave him a new contract
  • DE Chase Winovich via trade
  • DT Taven Bryan in free agency
  • WR/KR Jakeem Grant in free agency
  • P Corey Bojorquez in free agency

Cleveland also gave CB Denzel Ward a huge contract extension.

Besides all of that, the team also brought back Jadeveon Clowney, Anthony Walker, Chris Hubbard, Sheldon Day and Ronnie Harrison.

Then Friday the latest return came with TE David Njoku signing his huge four-year contract coming off the franchise tag.

Much as Myles Garrett did when Clowney signed his contract, John Johnson III had a funny comment for Njoku after his signing:

The Browns have kept a few important pieces and upgraded their roster overall. The team also seems to enjoy each other, a trip to the Bahamas for the offense sure seems to help.

While Cleveland can still make a few moves, specifically to deal with their glut of running backs and dearth of defensive tackles, the roster has come together very well this offseason.

Browns sign TE David Njoku to huge 4-year deal

A huge deal for Njoku. Browns are betting on Watson to unlock his potential so his production matches his new contract:

The Cleveland Browns continue to spend money to retain their young core. In the last few years, the team has inked Myles Garrett, Nick Chubb, Joel Bitonio, Wyatt Teller and Denzel Ward to big money deals. They also gave Deshaun Watson a big new contract upon acquiring him.

Now, after earlier reports that the two sides were close on a deal, the Browns have inked TE David Njoku to a four-year deal with over $56 million.

Njoku hinted at him signing shortly after Cleveland brought back DE Jadeveon Clowney at the start of the week.

The Browns third first-round pick in 2017 turns 26 years old later this summer. The team placed the franchise tag on him earlier this offseason.

The terms of the deal are huge according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:

As noted, the deal puts Njoku near the top of the tight end market along with George Kittle, Mark Andrews, Dallas Goedert and Travis Kelce.

Due to injuries and inconsistent play, the University of Miami product has not put up huge numbers in his five seasons. His best year came in 2018 where he had 56 receptions for 639 yards and four touchdowns.

In 2021, Njoku matched the four touchdowns but only had 36 receptions for 475 yards.

Given the size of the deal, Cleveland is betting on Watson to unlock the athletic potential in Njoku so that his production matches his huge contract.

David Njoku skips OTAs, reportedly ‘close’ on a new contract

Not under contract and with OTAs not mandatory, Njoku is not present in Berea but a contract could get completed soon:

The Cleveland Browns opened OTAs to the media today for the first of three sessions. The big story is the signing of Jadeveon Clowney and his appearance at the voluntary practice today.

The excitement around the offense with Deshaun Watson and Amari Cooper added to a great offensive line and run game will likely dominate the discussions, as it should. While Jarvis Landry has moved on, the Browns retained David Njoku as another important piece of the revamped offense by placing the franchise tag on him.

After Clowney’s news broke, Njoku posted to Instagram that it might be his turn to sign a deal.

A new report from Mary Kay Cabot says that Njoku is not at OTAs today but that Cleveland and Njoku are close on a new deal:

According to Over The Cap, a $13 million average would make Njoku the fifth highest paid tight end (based on average yearly salary) behind George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Dallas Goedert and Mark Andrews. It would slot him just ahead of Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry.

The franchise tag guarantees Njoku just under $11 million for one year currently. The 26-year-old former first-round pick played in 16 games last season with 36 receptions, 475 yards and four touchdowns. Njoku’s blocking has been stellar the last two seasons as well.

For now, Njoku stays away from OTAs but did spend time with the offense during the Bahamas trip provided by Watson this weekend.

David Njoku notes ‘it’s my turn’ to sign with Browns after Clowney re-signs

Is Njoku ready to sign on long-term or at least sign his franchise tag tender? “Guess it’s my turn” following Clowney’s return:

A tumultuous offseason still has a couple of more pieces of the puzzle that must be sorted out before the Cleveland Browns can call it a success. The looming specter of discipline for Deshaun Watson and the looming presence of Baker Mayfield on the roster are the two biggest.

The return of Jadeveon Clowney over the weekend checked another big one off the list.

Outside of the quarterback situations, and any other veteran free agents that could sign on, David Njoku’s contract is the biggest remaining unknown. The Browns placed the franchise tag on their still-young tight end at the start of the offseason. While the team has an interest in a long-term contract, the sides have not come to an agreement yet.

In sharing the Clowney news on his Instagram story, Njoku seemed to suggest that he is next to sign on the dotted line:

(Hat tip to “Chopz” on Twitter for sharing Njoku’s IG story)

It had been previously reported that Cleveland was willing to pay over $13 million a year on a long-term deal with Njoku. The two sides have until July 15th to come to an agreement or the tight end will only be able to sign the one-year, $10+ million franchise tag offer.

Perhaps his comment on Instagram means he is ready to put pen to paper on a long-term deal with the Browns.

Report: Browns TE David Njoku gets the franchise tag

The Browns have used the franchise tag designation on TE David Njoku

The Cleveland Browns have elected to use the franchise tag designation on tight end David Njoku, per reports. The move beats Tuesday’s deadline to tag any pending free agents and will lock up Njoku in Cleveland for the 2022 campaign.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network broke the initial report of the tagging.

The franchise tag commits $10.8 million in fully guaranteed salary to Njoku in 2022 once he signs the tag. The Browns and Njoku can still work out a long-term contract that would supersede the franchise tag, but this allows the team to buy some time without worrying about another NFL competitor signing Njoku as a free agent.

Njoku, 25, caught 36 passes for 475 yards and four TDs in 2021, his fifth season with the Browns. He was a first-round pick out of Miami back in the 2017 NFL draft.

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Look: David Njoku has an amazing new tattoo

Njoku got some truly incredible artwork done on his back

Normally, an NFL player getting a new tattoo isn’t a big deal. Many players have at least one visible ink artwork on their body, and some have many more. But the latest tattoo that Browns tight end David Njoku got is one you’ve got to see.

Njoku showed off the incredible tattoo that covers his entire back. In an Instagram post, the lion/gorilla faces are revealed in a sprawling piece of body art. It’s some truly incredible detail that must have taken hours to needle into Njoku’s back.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CZ0WbqCpXd2/

Loads of Browns teammates and former cohorts in Cleveland chimed in the comments, including Odell Beckham Jr. and Damarious Randall, two guys who know their way around a tattoo parlor in their own right.

Njoku to reserve COVID-19 list among six Browns moves

Njoku on the COVID-19 list and two others activated off of it led to a total of six moves by the Browns on Tuesday:

The Cleveland Browns continue to make a flurry of moves as they enter the most important stretch of their season. At 6-6, the Browns have five games against playoff contenders to finish the season. They may have to run the table to make the playoffs but the team has a chance to make the postseason.

Today came news that TE David Njoku was going to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. His status for Sunday’s important game with the Baltimore Ravens is in doubt.

In a flurry of other corresponding moves at the position, the team replaced Njoku with TE Miller Forristall off their practice squad and signed TE Ross Travis to the practice squad.

To make room for Travis, Cleveland released OL Tristen Hoge.

The team got good news with long snapper Charley Hughlett being activated from the COVID-19 list and FB Johnny Stanton returning to the practice squad off the COVID-19 list.

A lot of movement that could be very short-lived depending on Njoku’s stay on the sidelines. When he is activated, Forristall will likely be waived and returned to the practice squad while Travis would be released.

We will keep you up to date on Njoku’s status as news becomes available.