The Cleveland Browns have many free agents hitting the market. While they can’t re-sign them all these four players need to be brought back
Is it the money? Is it the team’s success? Is it the comfort of playing on a team that you are familiar with? There are several Cleveland Browns players from this past season who are entering free agency this offseason. Which questions are important to each one of them?
There are currently 11 unrestricted free agents, and they could all leave and go play for another team next season. General manager Andrew Berry and his counterparts will have to make some tough choices and determine who to focus their attention on and try to resign.
Several players came to “The Land” as free agents a year ago as Berry and his colleagues did a nice job of finding players via the open market. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, linebacker Anthony Walker, and Malik Jackson all came here on one-year contracts. Can the team keep all of these players and the others like safety Ronnie Harrison and tight end David Njoku too?
Let’s look a little deeper at four players that the Browns really should try and focus on and get a new deal done this spring.
Cleveland Browns Free Agent No. 1 to resign: David Njoku
For the past two seasons, much has been made of the fact that the Browns have had three pretty reliable tight ends, Harrison Bryant, Austin Hooper, and David Njoku that could all produce on the field. Each has had their moments.
This season Njoku had his second-best statistical season overall. He caught 36 passes for 475 yards including four touchdowns. That yardage was more than any wide receiver on the team this year.
Recently, he met with local media and shared his desire to return to Cleveland as Camryn Justice, a news reporter for WEWS shared:
Njoku made $6 million this past season and he will be expecting much more next year. The problem for the Browns is that they would owe Hooper a base salary of $9.5 million. That would seem to be an easy decision for the team on keeping Hooper and parting ways with Njoku.
However, the Hooper contract is a bit complicated. If the team were to release or trade Hooper after June 1st then the team would save that $9.5 million in cap space.
It’ll be interesting to see where the team lands on this part of the team. Bryant is the youngest and cheapest player in this group and has produced two very consistent seasons. He finished with 21 receptions for 233 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll earn just over $1 million next season.
Parting with Hooper and saving some funds by trading or releasing him might be a good place for the team to alter their available monies. They could stick with Njoku and Bryant and potentially draft another tight end in April.