Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku has reportedly changed his mind and now wants to be traded before the November 3 trade deadline.
That is according to a report by cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, who cites a league source saying Njoku is ready for a fresh start somewhere else:
While Cabot did not reveal the name of the league source, it would not be a surprise if the person floating out the trade request is Njoku’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
Shortly after the report came out, Njoku took to Twitter to let everyone know he was not the source, but did not dispute that he wants to be traded:
I did not say anything to Mary Kay about a trade request— Chief David Njoku (@David_Njoku80) October 19, 2020
Over the summer, Njoku hired Rosenhaus and a trade demand soon followed - much to the ire of some Browns fans. Njoku subsequently took back that initial trade demand during training camp.
I’m all in Cleveland. Time to work.— Chief David Njoku (@David_Njoku80) August 1, 2020
The Browns have continued to show support for Njoku, picked up his fifth-year option in the spring, and have denied any interest in trading the fourth-year tight end. It appeared that the two sides were on decent terms in Week 1, when Njoku had three receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens.
But Njoku came down with a knee injury during the game and landed on injured reserve. He made his return in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts, but in the past two games he has only been targeted four times, pulling in two receptions for 13 yards.
With Austin Hooper holding down the No. 1 tight end spot, Njoku has been splitting time with rookie Harrison Bryant for the remaining playing time, with Bryant having a slight edge the past two weeks by playing 50 offensive snaps to Njoku’s 44 offensive snaps.
While the Browns should be better by having another athletic tight end on the roster, if Njoku and Rosenhaus are going to continue to angle for a trade, it may be time for the Browns to see what they can get in return.
Cleveland needs help at linebacker and in the secondary, where injuries and the play of safety Andrew Sendejo have taken their toll.
If general manager Andrew Berry can find a match that helps fill one of the defensive holes, the Browns might be better off dealing Njoku, especially given that they have solid options on the roster at tight end with Hooper and Bryant.