Andrew Berry continues to lock up the players he feels are the future of the Cleveland Browns.
David Njoku is the latest player to earn a fruitful extension under Berry’s watch.
The veteran tight end agreed in principle to a $56.75 million deal spread over 4 years.
About half of the money, $28 million, is guaranteed.
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
Njoku sat out the OTAs while details of the deal were finalized, specifically the amount of guaranteed money.
There are no details released just yet, but the deal could keep Njoku in orange through the 2025 season.
This makes Njoku the fifth-highest paid tight end in the NFL.
It gives Njoku the fifth-biggest total deal and 6th-largest average salary among Browns players.
Is Njoku Worth $14 Million Per Year?
Berry is paying Njoku for his perceived and expected future value.
With the release of Austin Hooper, Njoku is set to take on the bulk of the tight-end duties.
Harrison Bryant remains on a rookie contract in the TE-2 role.
Njoku hauled in several of the biggest passes in the recent Browns resurgence.
Do you hear that crowd???
It was a home game for us!!!
Also David Njoku is our #1 TE.
— 🇺🇸BROWN SPIDER ADVENTURES!!!🇱🇷 #D4L (8-9) (@BrownSpiderCLE) November 9, 2021
But low target counts as the Browns’ 2nd or 3rd tight end option resulted in low statistical contributions.
Besides his route-running and receiving prowess, Njoku worked hard since 2020 to correct his biggest weakness.
He is now a willing and adept blocker in Kevin Stefanski’s scheme.
What It Means To The Browns
David Njoku’s tenure under Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski has been eventful, if not cryptic.
Berry refused to entertain trade requests from Njoku back in 2020.
But those requests became a thing of the past when Njoku fired Drew Rosenhaus and took back his old agent.
Since then, Njoku has stated repeatedly how much he wants to be a Browns player for life.
David Njoku got 🆙 pic.twitter.com/seKkDT5em0
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) November 7, 2021
Berry locked him onto the roster with the franchise tag while he worked on free agency, trades, and the draft.
And though there was little doubt a deal would get done, Njoku still skipped OTAs until an agreement was reached.
It might seem like a risky contract for someone with a labile temperament in a changing offense.
But by the end of this deal, $14 million will be a bargain for an above-average starting tight end.