David Njoku Denies Rumor He's Looking for Trade from Browns Ahead of Deadline

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2020

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku (85) celebrates after the Browns defeated the Indianapolis Colts 32-23 during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

David Njoku would like a divorce from the Cleveland Browns.   

According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, "Njoku, who initially asked to be traded on July 3 but then rescinded the request on Aug. 1, would like to find a new home by the trade deadline on Nov. 3rd. To this point, the Browns haven't been willing to trade him, but they might be open to it if someone makes them an offer they can't refuse."

Njoku took to Twitter to deny Cabot's report he was looking for an exit from Cleveland:

Injuries have limited Njoku to three games this season, though he hasn't made much of an impact in those appearances, with just five catches for 63 yards and a score. As Cabot noted, he played just played 23 snaps in Sunday's 38-7 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers compared to 40 snaps for starter Austin Hooper and 21 snaps for rookie Harrison Bryant. 

Njoku, 24, was the No. 29 overall pick by the Browns in the 2017 NFL draft, but he's never lived up to that billing, catching 98 passes for 1,129 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career. Those would be fantastic stats in one season. It's a pretty poor outlay across parts of four campaigns, although injuries have limited him to 39 overall games. 

Regardless, it wouldn't be shocking if the Browns at least entertained offers, with Hooper clearly the top option at the position and Bryant a sufficient No. 2. Add in players like Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry at wide receiver—and a solid run game—and there aren't that many targets to go around in Cleveland. 

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The Browns have continued to assert that they can find a role for all three tight ends on the roster, however. 

"We have three guys that are really good and belong on the field in a variety of roles," tight end coach Drew Petzing told reporters last week. "May the best man play and continue to play. I think we are going to use all three of them a lot and really rely on them to have success on offense as we have throughout the season."

That may be the plan, at least for the time being, but Njoku likely will want a bigger role than he's currently been bestowed. In that regard, Monday's report that he wants to be moved is hardly surprising.