At this time one year ago, everyone seemingly wanted in on the Cleveland Browns. Now, one of their young skill players in tight end David Njoku evidently wants out.
According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, David Njoku and agent Drew Rosenhaus have requested a trade from the Cleveland Browns. Though the Browns wish to keep Njoku has told his representatives he’s intent on a trade and wishes to be dealt prior to training camp.
“It is in David’s best interest to find a new team at this time,” said Rosenhaus.
Njoku, a former star at the University of Miami who was one of three first-round picks by the Browns in 2017, has seen his standing in Cleveland change over the past season. After breaking out in 2018 with 56 receptions for 639 yards and four touchdowns, Njoku broke his wrist in a Week Two win over the New York Jets and was subsequently placed on Injured Reserve. He would end up playing in just five games, catching a mere five passes for 41 yards and a single touchdown in what turned into a lost season for the Browns as a whole.
Though the Browns picked up Njoku’s fifth-year option earlier this offseason, they made their tight ends room a more crowded place with the addition of Pro Bowler Austin Hooper in free agency and rookie fourth-round draft pick Harrison Bryant. Despite that, the Browns had maintained that Njoku was part of their plans, while Njoku himself expressed that he was looking forward to getting an opportunity in new head coach Kevin Stefanski‘s offense.
“He is very talented. Obviously he was not on the field much last year, but he is a guy with outstanding physical tools, he has proven NFL production, and we still think the future is very bright with him here,” said Browns general manager Andrew Berry. “David has always been and continues to be in our plans, and we are going to continue to add competition all across our roster.”
“That’s what I’m most excited about, just the opportunity,” Njoku told the Browns’ official website. “Obviously, this past year wasn’t we all planned or had in mind, but it’s a great learning experience. I’m very excited to come back with my teammates and give it all we got.”