Will any suitor meet the Cleveland Browns asking price for David Njoku?
It is old news by now that Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku has requested a trade through his agent Drew Rosenhaus. There is speculation about whether it was him or his agent who came up with the idea, but we are here now.
There have been a number of teams reported to have interest in Njoku, as they should. He only played in four games last season due to injury, but he had two very productive seasons before that. He caught 88 passes for 1,025 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017 and combined.
Njoku has good speed for his size, as well as good hands. He is a reliable redzone target, but he needs to improve a lot as a blocker. He is still only going to be 24-years-old this season, so his upside is amazing.
The Browns have just moved on from him as they signed free agent Austin Hooper and drafted Harrison Bryant in the fourth round. Both are skilled pass catchers and will fit into Kevin Stefanski’s offense.
That leaves Njoku as the likely odd man out and he is trying to get ahead of the eight ball and asked for a trade. There has been no shortage of teams interested in the young tight end but nothing has seriously materialized which makes you question what are the Browns asking for in return?
Some of the teams rumored to be interested include the Washington football team, who have draft capital and cap space. Washington also doesn’t have much talent at tight end. They have Jeremy Sprinkle, but he disappointed in 2019. Njoku would greatly help a young quarterback like Dwayne Haskins.
Another team with issues at tight end is the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick is no stranger for trading for former high draft picks who didn’t make it on their original team. The most recent success story being Kyle Van Noy, who he acquired from the Detroit Lions.
Then there are the Arizona Cardinals, who are clearly all in after trading for DeAndre Hopkins this offseason. They may not have many draft picks they are looking to get rid of after acquiring Hopkins, but it would be a surprise if they haven’t called Cleveland to at least see.
The Carolina Panthers are another team who could use Njoku’s services after moving on from veteran Greg Olsen this offseason. They have Ian Thomas on the roster, a former fourth-round pick, but he only has three career touchdowns in 32 games. New head coach Matt Rhule may be trying to bring in some of his own talent and Njoku could greatly help their new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
With all of these potential suitors, why hasn’t Njoku been traded yet? He is talented, young and cheap, so why hasn’t a team pulled the trigger? That makes you question what the Browns are asking for in return.
They surely can’t be asking for a first-round pick in return for a tight end who struggles to run block and barely has 1,000 career receiving yards. The Browns have drafted very well in the past few years so they aren’t desperate to acquire another high pick.
A combination of late-round picks should be enough to acquire the disgruntled tight end, possibly a fourth and sixth round picks or something of that nature.
With such an intriguing young talent and training camp fast approaching it is surprising Njoku hasn’t been moved yet. This saga may not end until after the start of the season or later.
Don’t be surprised if Njoku is a Browns for the entire 2020 season.