What would an extension look like?

(Photo by Nick Cammett / Getty Images)

It wasn’t too long ago that it seemed like David Njoku didn’t want much to do with the Cleveland Browns.

But now it seems likely that his new and now former agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was behind that sentiment.

Not that it didn’t make sense for Njoku to move on after Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant joined the team.

Njoku was a pending free agent, and the tight ends of Channel 3 don’t sign big entry-level contracts.

Fast forward to 2021 with a playoff victory under their belt and former agent David Njoku back at the helm.

It looks like Hooper, Bryant, and Njoku can coexist after all, and Njoku is happier than anyone with the situation.

The Browns are said to be interested in keeping the tight winger who catches passes in Cleveland a few more years.

But there are plenty of other teams who would like to put Njoku in the middle of their attacks.

So, when it comes to a David Njoku contract, what would an expansion look like?

What is the value of Njoku for brunettes?

Various football salary controllers and analysts predict the fair market value of pending free agents.

Spotrac believes Njoku is worth signing for 4 years at $ 6.9 million per season, halfway through the starting tight ends.

Over the Cap values ​​Njoku at around $ 7.5 million per season, comparing him to a larger group of his close peers.

Njoku has worked hard to improve his blocking abilities and shows a lot of willingness to jump into the fray.

What was previously his biggest weakness is more than enough, and he’s still a fast and reliable receiver.

Njoku had a 7 catch, 149 yard game this year, but 2-3 catches are his normal offensive contribution.

Andrew Berry knows there are teams out there that will give athletic Njoku all the value to start for their clubs.

Cleveland will pay if they want their services, even if they decide how the money is paid.

The Austin Hooper effect

Long before the 2020 season, the Cleveland Browns had something to prove.

This is how Austin Hooper (and Jack Conklin) got paid at the start of the free agency period.

Andrew Berry overspent on Hooper in an attempt to show just how serious and professional the Browns’ new regime is.

Hooper has conceded a good receiving season, but he was not a dominant player and rarely won a contested catch.

So essentially the Browns paid a really good tackle who can grab a tight elite salary in the field.

Cleveland is saving money by letting Hooper go, but he still carries 11.25 and 7.5 million dead-cap hits in 2022 and 23.

That and his $ 13 million in actual payroll costs will likely keep Hooper orange for another season, at least.

And Cleveland’s main tight end will have to accept that he is paid less than his blocking partner.

What does an Njoku extension look like?

Our best estimate of what an Njoku expansion looks like comes from studying the Wyatt Teller expansion.

Teller was paid, but Andrew Berry used a signing bonus instead of salary in 2022 to delay the impact of the salary cap.

Spreading the bonus over the duration of the deal, Teller only has $ 4 million on next season’s cap.

JC Tretter’s $ 10 million hit the books in 2023, just in time to offset Teller’s new $ 15 million cap.

Andrew Berry will likely offer Njoku a similar deal, with a big bonus and a lower initial salary.

If Njoku is to stay in Cleveland, he will likely agree to something akin to the Over the Cap and Spotrac ratings.

I think Berry will offer $ 28-30 million over 4 years, with significant upstream and downstream guarantees.

And if Njoku doesn’t agree to the deal by March, other contenders will lure Njoku with bigger deals.

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