The Cleveland Browns and tight end David Njoku have reportedly agreed on a new contract.
It is a four-year extension with $28 million in guaranteed money and an average of $14.82 million a year, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The #Browns and franchise tagged TE David Njoku have reached an agreement in principle on a large new 4-year, $56.75M contract extension, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. He gets $28M guaranteed at signing on the deal that averages $14.1875M per year, the fifth highest paid TE.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 27, 2022
The contract makes Njoku the fifth highest-paid tight end in the league.
A first-round selection (No. 29 overall) by the Browns in the 2017 NFL Draft, Njoku has appeared in 65 games and made 36 starts, and has 148 receptions for 1,754 yards and 15 touchdowns.
It has been a rocky journey for Njoku with the Browns as he struggled with catching the ball as a rookie (just 32 catches on 60 targets) and then played in just four games in 2019 as he dealt with injuries and fell out of favor with the coaching staff.
He came back in 2020 to play in 13 games, although he made just five starts and finished with only 19 receptions on the season. That led Njoku to change agents and demand a trade, which he rescinded once he fired his new agent and returned to his previous one.
Once he settled down, Njoku finished the 2021 season with 36 receptions for 475 yards and four touchdowns. Most importantly, his catch rate was above 65 percent for the second consecutive season, which is a good sign that he is figuring things out.
The Browns signaled their intent in the offseason to make Njoku the team’s No. 1 tight end when they released Austin Hooper, and have doubled down on that commitment with the contract extension.
Now it is time for Njoku to reward the Browns over the next four years with on-field production that matches his new contract figures.