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Browns use franchise tag on David Njoku


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Njoku had a good start to his career with nice numbers as a rookie and 2nd year player (32-386-4 & 56-639-4). Then he missed almost all of his 3rd season, and while he played in 13 games the following year (2020) he only got the starting nod in 5, and saw just 29 targets.  Last year he was mostly healthy (missed one game, started most others) and put up numbers similar to those first 2 (36-475-4 on 53 targets). I feel he was the #2 TE behind Austin Hooper (61 targets with 38-345-3) but did get more looks in the RZ. Only Jarvis Landry had more targets than Hooper, Njoku was 4th behind them and Donovan Peoples-Jones. 

 

There is talk that he and the team are working on a cap friendly long term deal, and after he had been looking for a trade they did not want to let him go. People in the front office have thought he's really special since drafting him (current GM Andrew Berry was VP of player personnel back then). it is a bit baffling but clearly they like their TEs and under the current contracts would be paying him and Hooper about $10M each. Maybe they still look to trade one, but Stefanski offense uses the TEs.

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