Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, have asked the franchise to trade him before the start of training camp, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. While the Browns reportedly expressed their desire to keep him, Njoku is intent on being traded.
"It is in David's best interest to find a new team at this time," Rosenhaus said.
The 29th overall pick in the 2017 draft, Njoku had his fifth-year option picked up by the team on April 27. He is slated to make a little over $3 million against the cap this season and $6 million in 2021, according to Over The Cap. Njoku, who will turn 24 years old next Friday, is coming off an injury-marred season that saw him catch just five passes in four games.
This offseason, the Browns signed two-time Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper to a four-year, $44 million contract that includes $23 million guaranteed. The Browns also spent a fourth-round pick on former Florida Atlantic tight end Harrison Bryant, who caught 65 passes for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns during his final season with the Owls.
Despite the team's offseason additions, new Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt recently said that Njoku would play a valuable role within the team's offense in 2020. Cleveland, under new head coach Kevin Stefanski, is expected to use multiple tight ends on a consistent basis.
"He is going to add to that tight end room," Van Pelt told reporters last month, via the team's official website. "There will be times we are out there with three tight end sets -- that is part of this system -- and to have him with the ability he has both athletically to play in line or get him out in space and get some matchup issues with safeties and linebackers covering him, I am excited to see what he has to offer."
The Browns, like most NFL teams, are expected to open training camp later this month, which means that Njoku is looking to be traded sometime over the next several weeks.