The Cleveland Browns are building the team for the future, and one of their top takeover targets is an important part of an even bigger picture.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Friday, April 1, Cleveland is in final talks with David Njoku about a long-term extension to keep him in the Browns uniform for years to come.
“Here’s a real update, in the midst of this April Fools’ joke: #Browns and TE David Njoku are in active talks about an extension, sources say, and there’s confidence it has can be completed by the July 15 deadline” Rapport tweeted on the morning of April 1. “Now back to ignoring everything (other than this) online today.”
Rapoport mentions an April Fools joke as a reference to a Njoku’s tweets Friday morning in which he announced he was actively pursuing a trade out of Cleveland.
“Good morning all, I guided my agent @malkikawa Njoku wrote. “I want my fans to know in advance…”
Rapoport was apparently misled by Njoku’s initial tweet, though later retracted his false report and broke the news that close and his team are now negotiating a deal. long-term.
The latest Browns news to your inbox! Register with Heavy on the Browns newsletter here!
Njoku is now required on a one-year franchise card
If Cleveland and Njoku can’t strike a deal by mid-July, he’ll still be playing for the Browns in 2022.
General Manager Andrew Berry has opted to use the team’s franchise card option to lock down Njoku for next season with a one-year salary of around $10.9 million. The NFL Network reported on Monday, March 7, that using the card is a way to keep the tight end of the market open while the two sides negotiate a deal, which means an extension. been done for almost a month.
According to that same report March 7, NFL insider Tom Pelissero said the Browns are offering Njoku in the neighborhood $13 million annually, which would make him one in five. has the highest salary in the entire league.
Cleveland drafted Njoku, now 25, in 2017 at the University of Miami. He appeared in 65 games during his five-year NFL career, starting 36 of them. Njoku accumulated 1,754 yards on 148 catches, including 15 touchdowns, during that time.
Njoku Top TE on Browns List after Austin Hooper Release
That njoku is Cleveland’s preferred long-term solution as the tight end comes in as something of a nuisance after the money the team spent to buy Austin Hooper in 2020.
At the time, Hooper was out of consecutive Pro Bowl selections in his third and fourth years with the Atlanta Falcons. Hooper signed a four-year, $42 million deal with the Browns into the off-season but ultimately proved both frustration and overpayment on Cleveland’s part.
Hooper, 27, made 84 catches in two seasons with 770 yards and seven touchdowns. In his final year with the Falcons, the tight finish registered 75 catches for 787 yards and six touchdowns, according to Professional Football Reference.
The Browns have chosen to release Hooper on March 22 in a move to free up limited space for what has proven to be an expensive and exciting holiday season in Cleveland so far.
https://heavy.com/sports/cleveland-browns/david-njoku-contract-extension-austin-hooper/ Browns TE David Njoku in group talk about long-term deal