Browns and TE David Njoku agree to four-year, $56.75 million contract extension
David Njoku’s future in Cleveland is secure.
The Browns and Njoku have reached a tentative agreement on a four-year, $56.75 million contract extension, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported Friday, according to a source.
Rapoport adds that Njoku will receive $28 million guaranteed upon signing the contract. The deal earns Njoku $14.1875 million per season — the fourth-highest average in the NFL at his position, according to NFL Research.
Njoku earns a significant pay rise on his new contract. The tight end had already received the franchise tag from the Browns, which secured his future for at least a year. Under that tag, Njoku was expected to earn $10.931 million in 2022. Cleveland was well ahead of the July 15 deadline to sign long-term deals with franchise-tagged players.
The 25-year-old recently expressed his desire to stay in Cleveland before the final year of his rookie contract. Njoku is now getting his wish after a 2021 season where he produced 36 receptions for 475 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games.
Going into Year 6, Njoku is the clear starter in a TE room that has Harrison Bryant and a handful of undrafted free agents. Cleveland released Austin Hooper last offseason, which can be seen as a vote of confidence for Njoku.
A first-round selection by the Browns in the 2017 NFL Draft, Njoku’s tenure thus far with the Browns has had its ups and downs, including a trade request at one point. Njoku’s production has dwindled since he recorded career bests (56 receptions, 639 yards, 4 touchdowns) as a bona fide starter in 2018.
As the Browns enter a new era with Deshaun Watson at the helm, Njoku’s production could increase significantly with an elite QB throwing the football at him. Njoku had 148 receptions for 1,754 yards and 15 touchdowns in five seasons.