Earlier this summer, news broke that David Njoku had requested a trade. It was surprising to hear, especially since the tight end is a key part of the offense, and a trusted target for quarterback Baker Mayfield. After the signing of Austin Hooper, it was expected that all of the Browns’ offensive weapons could potentially expose defenses in the league and the sky was the limit. However, after Njoku’s trade request, it seemed like there was trouble in paradise.
Njoku was a dependable tight end in the 2018 season, reeling in 56 receptions, 639 yards and four touchdowns. Njoku’s 2019 season was comprised by a concussion and broken wrist against the New York Jets in Week Two, but was able to play two more games in the season, and ultimately ended up with five receptions, 41 yards and one touchdown. The Browns struggled to have a consistent receiving tight end while Njoku was sidelined, but after the conclusion of last season, it was hopeful that he could recover and come back healthy to resume his productiveness. Austin Hooper was then signed which was a huge addition to the team, and also drafted tight end Harrison Bryant from Florida Atlantic, which was a great pick up for the Browns. However, the excitement for our new acquisitions were short lived, because it was reported on July 3rd that David Njoku and his agent Drew Rosenhaus requested a trade per Adam Schefter, and wanted it to be finalized before the start of training camp.
Even though there is more competition in the tight end position, it was planned from the beginning for Njoku to be an important part of the offense. “My stance hasn’t changed,” said first year Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski. “The organization’s stance hasn’t changed in that we believe in David, excited to work with him.” The former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator led the NFL for using the most multiple tight end sets in his play calling, according to ESPN.com. Furthermore, 57% of his play calls utilized aforementioned tight end sets.
The former first round pick from the Miami Hurricanes may have realized his worth on this football team, and regretted the trade request. Njoku tweeted Saturday afternoon, “I’m all in Cleveland. Time to work.” Even though the Browns offensive weapons consist of Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, Njoku could do wonders for the Browns offense. After all, Stefanski’s offense heavily favors tight ends, and now David Njoku is all in to be a part of this franchise.