Browns Rumors: David Njoku Agrees to New 4-Year, $56.8M Contract After Franchise Tag

Erin WalshMay 27, 2022

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 28: David Njoku #85 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates a touchdown during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Franchise-tagged tight end David Njoku and the Cleveland Browns have agreed to a four-year, $56.8 million contract extension, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero. 

The deal contains $28 million guaranteed and will make him the fifth-highest-paid tight end in the NFL. 

The deal comes as no surprise as Njoku told reporters in January that he wanted to spend the rest of his career with the Browns. 

"I love it here," Njoku said. "I love it here to the core. I want to be here for the rest of my career."

Nate Ulrich @ByNateUlrich

David Njoku on contract extension with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Browns?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Browns</a> via his IG <a href="https://t.co/Xgn84nBlH1">pic.twitter.com/Xgn84nBlH1</a>

However, Njoku didn't always feel that way. 

In July 2020, Njoku requested a trade from the Browns, and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN's Adam Schefter that it was in his client's "best interest to find a new team at this time." The request came after the team signed Austin Hooper and drafted Harrison Bryant, clogging up the tight end position. 

Cleveland had no interest in trading him, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reported at the time. Njoku eventually rescinded his trade request after meeting with general manager Andrew Berry that August. 

Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot then reported in October 2020 just before the trade deadline that Njoku had once again requested a trade, but he denied the report and has been all-in since. 

The Browns franchise-tagged Njoku in March as he was set to hit free agency for the first time in his career. When they placed the tag on him, Rapoport reported the Browns had been in negotiations with his camp on an extension.

Cleveland selected Njoku in the first round of the 2017 draft, and the Miami product has spent his entire career with the team, catching 148 passes for 1,754 yards and 15 touchdowns in 65 games. 

During the 2021 campaign, he caught 36 passes for 475 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games while splitting time with Hooper, who caught 38 passes for 345 yards and three scores before being released in March.

Njoku will be backed up by Bryant, Miller Forristall and Nakie Griffin-Stewart.