Franchise Tag Option No. 1 – David Njoku
The Cleveland Browns have a very interesting situation coming up with tight end, David Njoku. They certainly want to keep him around as he is one of the more dynamic players they have on offense, but they already have Austin Hooper who has been listed as the number one tight end on the depth chart the last two seasons.
Would Njoku really want to come back and be the second tight end? Again.
Well, the Browns are in a position to release Hooper post-June 1, and the franchise tag number for a tight end is still relatively cheap at $9.3 million for the year.
There have been rumors that the Browns would be willing to pay $10 or $11 million per year if they signed a long-term extension, so the franchise tag may not be an awful option to keep him around one more year.
Remember, if you franchise tag Njoku this year, you can franchise tag again for 2023, or continue to work on a long-term extension. For certain positions like quarterback, defensive end, or wide receiver, the franchise tag gets expensive, so they need to be home run signings. Tight end is just above special teams as the cheapest position to tag in 2022.
I think there is a good chance that Njoku gets the tag, but the best scenario for Browns fans is if Clowney got the tag and came to terms with Njoku on a longer-term contract. Both should be top priorities to retain in 2022 no matter the cost.