Njoku would make $10.8 million — all guaranteed — under the tag for the 2022 season. Tagging Njoku before the March 8 deadline ensured that Njoku would not be able to test the market when free agency opens on March 16. Furthermore, the tag gives the two sides an additional five months to discuss a long-term contract before the July 15 deadline, which is reportedly what they are working on, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
The 29th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Njoku has caught 148 passes for 1,754 yards and 15 touchdowns in 65 regular-season games. His best statistical year took place in 2018, Baker Mayfield’s rookie season. That year, Njoku caught 56 passes for 639 yards and four touchdowns while helping the Browns win seven games after the franchise went a combined 1-31 the previous two seasons.
Last year, Njoku had his best season since his 2018 campaign. In 16 games, he caught 36 passes for 475 yards while matching his career-high of four touchdown receptions. He finished first on the team in touchdown receptions, third in receiving yards and fourth in receptions.
Njoku is part of the Browns’ formidable trio of tight ends that also includes Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant. Last year, the trio combined to catch 95 passes for 1,053 yards and 10 touchdowns and also helped open up holes for running back Nick Chubb, whose 1,259 rushing yards was the NFL‘s second-highest total last season.
The Browns are hoping to bounce back following a disappointing 8-9 season in 2021. To do that, the Browns are planning to surround quarterback Baker Mayfield with more talent at the skill positions, specifically at receiver.
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