#29: TE, David Njoku, Miami

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Out of the Rafters at the Q

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I do love the way this forum has shifted towards the dark side on Austin Hooper. I got so much flak after we signed him for saying that it was an overpay and that Hooper wasn't anything special--while at the same time saying that I understand why Berry overpaid for a reliable tight end so that our first-year head coach could execute his offensive system.

I'm still not sure I've seen enough consistency and reliability from Harrison Bryant to feel comfortable with him filling Hooper's role. We'll see how it goes this year, but I wouldn't cut Hooper to save 2 million right now.
 

Lee

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I misunderstood the guarantees on Hooper's contract. Given that he would be 11.25M in dead cap vs 13.25M in cap is he's on the team, I think there is a very very small chance he would be cut in the offseason unless he has a terrible year or serious injury.

Seems like a trade or renegotiation would be the more likely path if the Browns decide they also want to re-sign Njoku.

That said, it is possible they could do an Njoku extension that has a relatively small cap number in 2022 and 2024, that balloon up in 2024 and beyond, after Hooper's deal has expired.

Will have to see how the year plays out but if Njoku has regular performances like his past two games(KC playoffs and Game 1), it would be tough to just let him walk.

Thing is, that 11.25 is over the next 3 years, 13.25 is just one year. The following year he would make another 9.5 so its 11.25 vs 30.25.
 

TyGuy

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Looking at the elite tight ends Waller, Kelce, Kittle, they all seemed to really take off at age 25/26. Maybe David just needed to mature and develop under a stable and good regime?
 

bob2the2nd

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I misunderstood the guarantees on Hooper's contract. Given that he would be 11.25M in dead cap vs 13.25M in cap is he's on the team, I think there is a very very small chance he would be cut in the offseason unless he has a terrible year or serious injury.

Seems like a trade or renegotiation would be the more likely path if the Browns decide they also want to re-sign Njoku.

That said, it is possible they could do an Njoku extension that has a relatively small cap number in 2022 and 2024, that balloon up in 2024 and beyond, after Hooper's deal has expired.

Will have to see how the year plays out but if Njoku has regular performances like his past two games(KC playoffs and Game 1), it would be tough to just let him walk.
The reason he has a chance of getting cut this offseason is for the reason @Lee explained. Basically unless you are going to wait out his contract and let him soak up cap space for another 2 years after this, you will have to rip the band-aid off eventually. If he gets cut after this year its an 11.25 million hit, if he gets cut the year after its a 7.5 million hit. So basically your options are let him sit and soak up cap space for the next 2 years after this one, or cut him and get rid of him. If you do it this year you can do it at the same time that Ward/Baker havent hit their extension yet, and on a year there was a major jump in cap sapce.
 
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Lee

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I do love the way this forum has shifted towards the dark side on Austin Hooper. I got so much flak after we signed him for saying that it was an overpay and that Hooper wasn't anything special--while at the same time saying that I understand why Berry overpaid for a reliable tight end so that our first-year head coach could execute his offensive system.

I'm still not sure I've seen enough consistency and reliability from Harrison Bryant to feel comfortable with him filling Hooper's role. We'll see how it goes this year, but I wouldn't cut Hooper to save 2 million right now.

its to save 19 mill over 2 years if we cut him. its not 2 mill.

If we cut, we owe him the 11.25 vs the 13.25, but that is year one. Year 2 we own another 13.25 and year three even though he isnt under contract, another 3.75...it was a really awkward contract, one of Berry's only mistakes so ar.

I think we can get a better TE or atleast keep Njoku for the money we save cutting him.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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its to save 19 mill over 2 years if we cut him. its not 2 mill.

If we cut, we owe him the 11.25 vs the 13.25, but that is year one. Year 2 we own another 13.25 and year three even though he isnt under contract, another 3.75...it was a really awkward contract, one of Berry's only mistakes so ar.

I think we can get a better TE or atleast keep Njoku for the money we save cutting him.
I still don't think the contract is a mistake--Berry wasn't going to gamble that the success of this team and our first-year head coach hinged on an inconsistent David Njoku. That's a worthwhile gamble.

Sure, it's an overpay--but it's the right kind of overpay. You overpaid a specific player, but the value it brings to the organization is worth it.

And you're right--when I say 2 million, that's only talking about 2022. You could always cut him in 2023 and only have a 7.5M dead cap hit.

Whether or not I think Hooper should be retained in 2022 will depend entirely on Harrison Bryant as a possession/underneath tight end. If he can be reliable, catch the ball, and not fumble--then I think he slides into Hooper's role. If he looks the same way he did last year, that's not someone you can trust moving forward and I'd keep the pile of unsalted mashed potatoes that is Austin Hooper.

I'm trying to keep Njoku regardless--he's your move tight end that attacks the field vertically up the seam. You don't have any other tight ends on the roster that do that effectively.
 

MirORich

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The reason he has a chance of getting cut this offseason is for the reason @Lee explained. Basically unless you are going to wait out his contract and let him soak up cap space for another 2 years after this, you will have to rip the band-aid off eventually. If he gets cut after this year its an 11.25 million hit, if he gets cut the year after its a 7.5 million hit. So basically your options are let him sit and soak up cap space for the next 2 years after this one, or cut him and get rid of him. If you do it this year you can do it at the same time that Ward/Baker havent hit their extension yet, and on a year there was a major jump in cap sapce.
I get that, but 11.25M in dead money(money both not able to be used on active roster or rollover) for a TE who is still productive is a pretty heavy price to pay for a Super Bowl contending season, even if it does come with long term benefits in 2023 and 2024.

I personally would only trade or renegotiate/restructure his deal for 2022. You could re-sign Njoku with a 4M cap hit in 2022(4M was Hoopers cap hit in 2020) and then cut Hooper in 2023 if necessary.

Just think 11.25M in dead money for a TE in a SB contending season is a bridge too far.

I trust in what Berry decides though, either way.
 

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However, the rumors remain, in part due to Njoku’s contract situation. He’s currently playing on his fifth-year option and will be a free agent at the end of the season if a long-term deal is not reached. With the Browns already tied into a hefty salary for Austin Hooper, it’s unlikely the team would ink Njoku to a market-value deal, especially if he has a good season. So the Browns could look to deal their second-string tight end before the deadline and get some value.
 

DirtyDan

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I wouldn't mind trading or restructuring Hooper in the offseason. Not really sold on Njoku staying healthy and being a consistent factor in the offense. We'll see how he does this season but I think they need to find a perennial pro bowler at tight end. It's probably the key to making this offense unstoppable.
 

Jack Brickman

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Looking at the elite tight ends Waller, Kelce, Kittle, they all seemed to really take off at age 25/26. Maybe David just needed to mature and develop under a stable and good regime?

He's also played for a clusterfuck of a Browns organization that, until the current front office / coaching staff, couldn't develop anyone effectively.
 

Lee

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I get that, but 11.25M in dead money(money both not able to be used on active roster or rollover) for a TE who is still productive is a pretty heavy price to pay for a Super Bowl contending season, even if it does come with long term benefits in 2023 and 2024.

I personally would only trade or renegotiate/restructure his deal for 2022. You could re-sign Njoku with a 4M cap hit in 2022(4M was Hoopers cap hit in 2020) and then cut Hooper in 2023 if necessary.

Just think 11.25M in dead money for a TE in a SB contending season is a bridge too far.

I trust in what Berry decides though, either way.

We will see, but we will owe him 9.5 mill more if we keep him on top of the dead money, and thats just for 2022.

If it comes down to keeping teller or keeping hooper, i say teller. That does assume we are able to agree with Njoku to a contract extension. Honestly TE is one of our biggest question marks moving forward. That and DL, lots of one year contracts there too.
 

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Going to need more tight ends on this team with Stefanski calling the shots.


Last season’s personnel usage broke down like this:
11 personnel (1 RB, 1TE, 3 WR) – 44 percent.
12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR) – 26 percent.
13 personnel (1 RB, 3 TE, 1 WR) – 14 percent.
Those were the groupings the Browns used most last season. The 11 personnel rate was far below the league average of 60 percent, and the Browns led the league in 13 personnel (the league average was just four percent).
On Sunday against the Chiefs, those percentages basically stayed the same.
11 personnel – 42 percent.
12 personnel – 19 percent
13 personnel – 16 percent.
 
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Randolphkeys

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If it comes down to keeping teller or keeping hooper, i say teller. That does assume we are able to agree with Njoku to a contract extension. Honestly TE is one of our biggest question marks moving forward. That and DL, lots of one year contracts there too.

The tight end positional room is only a clusterfuck if you are dead set on outbidding other teams for Njoku. Hooper is a sunken cost and Bryant is a steal at his price.

The Browns are in a position to negotiate with Njoku. He would likely have to leave money on the table if he has an amazing season. If he wants the payday, the Browns draft a move tight end. If he has a mediocre season, the Browns can afford him.
 

Douglar

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If he has a mediocre season, the Browns can afford him.

But if he plays mediocre in his fifth season, why would the Browns want to sign him ?

I hope he plays so well that the Browns consider franchising him.

2022 Projected RFA Tenders​

TypeAmount
First Round$5,479,00

2022 Projected Franchise and Transition Tenders
PositionFranchise TagTransition Tag
QB$28,583,000$25,641,000
DE$20,186,000$16,622,000
WR$19,127,000$16,808,000
LB$17,872,000$15,251,000
CB$17,568,000$15,218,000
DT$17,388,000$13,952,000
OL$16,698,000$15,002,000
S$13,543,000$11,264,000
RB$12,523,000$10,140,000
TE$11,139,000$9,488,000
 

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