Browns GM Andrew Berry Discusses David Njoku's Contract Option, Trade Rumors

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2020

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku stands on the field before an NFL preseason football game against the Washington Redskins, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. Cleveland won 30-10. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry said picking up the fifth-year option in the rookie contract of tight end David Njoku was a "pretty straightforward decision."

"We can't control the rumors but we're certainly optimistic about David," Berry told the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on the RapSheet and Friends podcast.

Njoku looked like a playmaker on the rise when he recorded 56 receptions for 639 yards and four touchdowns in 2018.

He made just four appearances last season because of a broken wrist, however, and the Browns signed fellow tight end Austin Hooper to a four-year, $42 million contract in free agency.

Although the high-profile signing raised questions about Njoku's future with the organization, he shut down talk about wanting out of Cleveland:

Chief David Njoku @David_Njoku80

Nahhhh man cmon I love competition. We’ll push each other and get better together🦾 https://t.co/nmAoz5cgl5

The 23-year-old University of Miami product could struggle to see consistent targets within the Browns' passing game, though. He'll fall behind Hooper, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry in the pecking order, and the team also drafted Donovan Peoples-Jones in the sixth round of the draft.

Cleveland has made a significant commitment over the past few years to surround quarterback Baker Mayfield with as much talent as possible, though. Along with Hooper and Beckham as major additions over the past two years, the team also bulked up the offensive line with tackle Jack Conklin.

In turn, the offense and the team as a whole will be expected to take a major step forward in 2020 after failing to reach expectations last year.

Berry's comments make it sound like Njoku is part of the plan moving forward despite the trade buzz.