David Njoku still wants out of Cleveland. Or does he? After initially making a trade request on July 3 this offseason, the veteran tight end is once again looking for the Browns to execute a deal that ships him out of town prior to the Nov. 3 trade deadline, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. That said, Njoku has since posted to social media saying that he "did not say anything to Mary Kay about a trade request."
In any event, the Browns brass was unwilling to trade the former first-round pick at the time and Njoku eventually rescinded that original request a month later on Aug. 1 following conversations with GM Andrew Berry. It was around that time that Njoku even took to social media to confirm his change of heart tweeting, "I'm all in Cleveland. Time to work." Six weeks into the 2020 campaign, however, those desires have -- at least reportedly -- once again bubbled to the surface.
Njoku has suited up in just three games for the Browns this season after landing on injured reserve due to a knee injury he suffered in the opener. He was activated off IR prior to Cleveland's Week 5 matchup with the Colts and the 24-year-old has been used sparingly upon his return. Over the last two weeks, Njoku has seen four targets and has come up with two receptions for 13 yards.
Over those two games, he has played in 29% and 40% of the offensive snaps, respectively. For reference, Austin Hooper played in 79% of Cleveland's offensive snaps in Week 5 and 70% in Week 6. Harrison Bryant -- another one of Cleveland's tight ends -- played in 40% of the offensive snaps against the Colts in Week 5 and then 37% in Sunday's loss to the Steelers. Given Hooper's $44 million contract that he signed with the Browns this offseason, Njoku is at best seemingly looking at second string with Cleveland.
Because of Cleveland's affinity for Njoku and unwillingness to deal him over the summer, it will be interesting to see what the price will be for his services around the deadline if he is put on the block. Not only is Njoku still young and oozing with potential, but he'd be under team control through 2021 after the Browns picked up his fifth-year option for next season worth $6.4 million.