The Cleveland Browns have made significant changes at tight end during the offseason.
First, they placed the franchise tag on David Njoku, which could have given him a one-year, fully-guaranteed salary of $10.9 million.
Then, they released Austin Hooper, who signed a one-year deal with the Tennessee Titans.
Finally, the Browns and Njoku agreed to a four-year, $56.75 million extension, including $28 million in guaranteed money.
He will also get $17 million guaranteed at signing, including his $11.4 million signing bonus and base salaries for 2022 and 2023.
But though they have given Njoku the big bucks, they are not done in deepening their rotation at the position.
The belief by some is the #Browns will chase TE O. J. Howard, per a league source.
— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) August 30, 2022
247 Sports’ Brad Stainbrook tweeted, “The belief by some is the #Browns will chase TE O. J. Howard, per a league source.”
Howard spent the first five seasons of his NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and won Super Bowl LV in his final season with the squad.
He showed promise during his rookie season with 432 yards and six touchdowns.
Howard had 565 yards in year two and 459 in the third year.
But during the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl-winning season, he only played four games, finishing with 146 yards and two touchdowns.
He bounced back last year by playing 17 games for Tampa Bay but registered only 135 yards and a touchdown.
In contrast, Buccaneers’ projected starter Cameron Brate had 245 yards and four touchdowns.
Will Howard Fit The Browns’ Offense?
If they proceed in signing Howard, the Browns’ think tank may find him useful in several ways.
He could be an extra blocker during run plays to give Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and D’Ernest Johnson more gaps to explore.
Likewise, the Browns can run double tight-end sets on offense, especially on third down.
Until the signing has been announced, Howard to the Browns remains speculation.
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