Browns Rumors: David Njoku Contract Extension 'Very Close' amid Absence from OTAs

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2022

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 03: David Njoku #85 of the Cleveland Browns is shown after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on January 03, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku is reportedly right on the doorstep of a new contract extension.

Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported Njoku is absent from voluntary organized team activities while the two sides negotiate, but the process is apparently "very close on all but the guarantees."

The Browns made sure the tight end would at least be with the team for the upcoming season when they placed the franchise tag on him in March. That gave them until July 15 to negotiate a long-term contract extension.

Cabot suggested that extension could come as early as this week.

Njoku could be in line for a breakout season in 2022, especially since Cleveland released Austin Hooper. That should open up more targets for the Miami product, and Deshaun Watson will likely bring better quarterback play on the field than Baker Mayfield if he isn't suspended.

The NFL is investigating Watson, who is being sued by 22 women accusing him of sexual assault and misconduct.

Njoku appeared in 16 games last year and finished with 36 catches for 475 yards and four touchdowns. It was the highest yardage mark since his second season in 2018, but he still has not lived up to the expectations that accompanied him as a first-round draft pick.

Despite the inconsistent production, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported the Browns offered an "impressive" long-term deal to the tight end that exceeds $13 million per year.

It seems the guaranteed parts of the offer are holding things up as of Wednesday, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him at OTAs with a new contract in the near future.