The Cleveland Browns should not trade David Njoku
David Njoku has been involved in trade rumors for what seems like forever now. With the trade deadline quickly approaching (November 3) many people are calling for the Cleveland Browns to get some value out of David Njoku while they still can. There have been several conflicting rumors, some saying that Njoku is here to stay and some saying that he is being shopped to other teams. Let’s take a look at why the Browns should hold on to Njoku for the remainder of this season.
Njoku brought the Browns a lot of excitement in his first two seasons as a Cleveland Brown. He was taken with a late first-round pick and showed potential to be a great NFL tight end. It was obvious the team had high hopes for what he could become in the future.
In David Njoku’s first two seasons, he caught eight touchdown passes and went for 1,025 receiving yards. Njoku and quarterback Baker Mayfield seemed to have a connection during Mayfield’s rookie campaign. Njoku seemed like he was going to be Cleveland’s starting tight end for years to come.
However, Njoku struggled with dropping passes early on in his career which led to many becoming frustrated with his performance. In 2019, Njoku also fractured his wrist and got a concussion in the first couple of weeks landing him on IR for most of the season. Even after Njoku was back and healthy, he had a hard time finding time on the field.
The 2020 season seemed to be off to a similar start as he found himself on IR again early in the season, this time with a knee injury. He has since returned to the field in a limited role. Between the injury history, dropped passes, and decreased playing time it seems like Browns fans want the team to move on from the former first-round pick.
However, there is still a major role that David Njoku can play on this team going forward. For starters, head coach Kevin Stefanski loves tight ends. In this offense, you can never have enough of them. With Njoku playing in the offense he is currently playing in he should get opportunities to produce.
It is easy to write someone off or forget about their production when you haven’t seen it in a while. Just take a look back before he came down with injuries and you can see what he is capable of. David Njoku was a vital part of the offense during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Another reason for keeping Njoku, as opposed to trading him, is that so far this season he seems like he has fixed his drop problem. He has not dropped a pass so far in the four games he has participated in.
Njoku has been extremely useful and efficient in red-zone and goal-line situations as he has already caught two touchdown passes this season. If this pace continues, he will eclipse his career-high in touchdown catches. Not to mention the big target to throw to in the end zone is invaluable in itself.
The main thing that is promising about David Njoku is his raw athleticism. Coming out of his college career at the University of Miami he was touted as a rare talent. Njoku has not lost the talent he had when he entered the NFL. You rarely find a tight end of his size who runs a 4.6 40-yard dash and has a 38-inch vertical jump. This raw athleticism has shown itself a few times and can be expected to show itself many more times, assuming he stays healthy.
Yes, Njoku has had trouble staying on the field in recent seasons due to injury. Yes, early in his career he struggled to catch passes that should have been caught. But trading Njoku would be a mistake. Njoku has too much talent and selling on him now would be looked back on with regret years from now. Njoku is finally in an offense that values tight ends and he will continue to see the field.
After all things are taken into account, the good and the bad, David Njoku is someone worth holding on to, and trading him at the deadline would be a mistake.