#29: TE, David Njoku, Miami

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Randolphkeys

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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

He is essentially a TE-1B. Hooper played 38 snaps. Njoku played 35. He certainly has a role in this scheme that needs great tight end play, no doubt.

He still failed to get set in a crucial drive, causing an illegal motion. That's just not acceptable from a 5th year player. Is he less raw? Yes... but how can a 5th year guy still be so raw?

So the financially wise move - letting him walk if somebody overspends... might be the smart move period. Let's watch move tight ends leading up to the draft.
 

Marcus

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Is there any chance at all that they might try to restructure/ask Hooper to take a pay cut before outright cutting him?

And if so, what would that look like?
If it came down to it, youth, athleticism, and year to year improvement push Njoku over Hooper for me if I had to choose one of the two…

That being said, I really think Kevin Stefanski would value having a veteran tight end over a rookie in his system, especially for a team that has Super Bowl aspirations…

Maybe I’m overrating the culture a bit here, but I could see Hooper renegotiating and/or taking less money to stay. I don’t think he’s a Brown for life or anything like that, but this very well could end up being his best chance at a Super Bowl in a league where winning one is so damned hard (if you’re not named Tom Brady)…

I really feel like this team has something special brewing. The team that was once known as “going to college” in the NFL is quickly going to become the place where guys want to take less money for a chance at playing in February…
 

Coyote

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With the Browns running 13 personnel 16% of the time, who do you use as a third TE if you cut Hooper? Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought Carlson was out for the season?

As for Njoku, if his production stays elevated, I think you have to live with his mistakes in a Stefanski offense.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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With the Browns running 13 personnel 16% of the time, who do you use as a third TE if you cut Hooper? Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought Carlson was out for the season?

As for Njoku, if his production stays elevated, I think you have to live with his mistakes in a Stefanski offense.
Nobody is talking about cutting Hooper now. The discussion is about hypothetically cutting him next year
 

Douglar

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Currently Hooper ($8,250,000) and David Njoku ($6,013,000) combine for $14.25 Mil in cap hit.

What is the highest cap hit you would want for Hooper + Njoku for 2022?
 

Scrote Squad

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He is essentially a TE-1B. Hooper played 38 snaps. Njoku played 35. He certainly has a role in this scheme that needs great tight end play, no doubt.

He still failed to get set in a crucial drive, causing an illegal motion. That's just not acceptable from a 5th year player. Is he less raw? Yes... but how can a 5th year guy still be so raw?

So the financially wise move - letting him walk if somebody overspends... might be the smart move period. Let's watch move tight ends leading up to the draft.
This was on Baker. Plenty of time on the play clock. It's his responsibility to see that guys are set before snapping the ball. Njoku gets called for the penalty, but it wasn't his fault.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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Currently Hooper ($8,250,000) and David Njoku ($6,013,000) combine for $14.25 Mil in cap hit.

What is the highest cap hit you would want for Hooper + Njoku for 2022?
The highest cap hit I'd want to see out of them, combined, is right around what it'll cost to just straight up cut Hooper.

The fact that Hooper is straight-up overpaid is something we just have to accept and figure out how best to work around.

For reference, the Patriots just went out into free agency and bought themselves two shiny starting tight ends--Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. Their combined cap hit this season is $12.4 million.

My ideal scenario is Harrison Bryant shows that he can be dependable in the Austin Hooper role, and Njoku is willing to take a contract around 4/36.

If Bryant continues to fumble, drop passes, and be unreliable, then that puts us in a real pickle. If a vet tight end like Rudolph, Cook, etc is available for cheap, I'd still cut Hooper and sign that guy--but I can see the case for keeping Hooper on.
 

Randolphkeys

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This was on Baker. Plenty of time on the play clock. It's his responsibility to see that guys are set before snapping the ball. Njoku gets called for the penalty, but it wasn't his fault.

You may want to watch the play again. Sloppy. That's why it was called.

EDIT - I do see that Njoku went from a non-blocker to a reliable blocker for a motion tight end. He has improved. It's just a matter of getting into a bidding war when Baker, Ward, Tretter and other key defenders are also facing free agency that turns my attention to drafting a replacement.
 

browniebob

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With the Browns running 13 personnel 16% of the time, who do you use as a third TE if you cut Hooper? Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought Carlson was out for the season?

As for Njoku, if his production stays elevated, I think you have to live with his mistakes in a Stefanski offense.
I don't want to read too much into preseason performance, but I really liked Jordan Franks' ability to catch the ball. No clue how he performed as a blocker.
 

CBBI

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You may want to watch the play again. Sloppy. That's why it was called.

You may want to watch it again too. It's more on Mayfield (and to a lesser extent DPJ) more than Njoku pretty clearly.

Njoku was tight on the line on the right. He then motioned from right to left. When Njoku gets to his place to the left of the left tackle, he's about to settle in tight on the line to the left of the left tackle Hubbard.

Njoku then signals DPJ to move back off the line so DPJ can remain an eligible receiver. Unfortunately DPJ doesn't see the Njoku signal right away so he's roughly a second or so slower to move back off the line.

But either way, Mayfield isn't paying attention to his surroundings well enough and he calls for the snap before DPJ *or* Njoku are fully set.

If you want to say that Njoku and DPJ should have completed the motion and getting set quicker than they did, so be it. I can accept that.

But Mayfield simply has to be more aware that his guys aren't finished getting set yet and not call for the ball. He had 15 seconds left on the play clock and the game clock wasn't running so there was no pressure to snap the ball as quickly as he did. He rushed when he didn't have to.
 
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Randolphkeys

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You may want to watch it again too. It's more on Mayfield (and to a lesser extent DPJ) more than Njoku pretty clearly.

Njoku was tight on the line on the right. He then motioned from right to left. When Njoku gets to his place to the left of the left tackle, he's about to settle in tight on the line to the left of the left tackle Hubbard.

Njoku then signals DPJ to move back off the line so DPJ can remain an eligible receiver. Unfortunately DPJ doesn't see the Njoku signal right away so he's roughly a second or so slower to move back off the line.

But either way, Mayfield isn't paying attention to his surroundings well enough and he calls for the snap before DPJ *or* Njoku are fully set.

If you want to say that Njoku and DPJ should have completed the motion and getting set quicker than they did, so be it.

But Mayfield simply has to be more aware that his guys aren't finished getting set yet and not call for the ball. He had 15 seconds left on the play clock and the game clock wasn't running so there was no pressure to snap the ball as quickly as he did. He rushed when he didn't have to.

I'll tell you this much - it's plays like this that divide the Browns from a team that went to the Super Bowl two seasons in a row. If the Browns want to make the jump and use more pre-snap motion, they need to do it without knocking themselves back five yards.
 

Lee

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You may want to watch it again too. It's more on Mayfield (and to a lesser extent DPJ) more than Njoku pretty clearly.

Njoku was tight on the line on the right. He then motioned from right to left. When Njoku gets to his place to the left of the left tackle, he's about to settle in tight on the line to the left of the left tackle Hubbard.

Njoku then signals DPJ to move back off the line so DPJ can remain an eligible receiver. Unfortunately DPJ doesn't see the Njoku signal right away so he's roughly a second or so slower to move back off the line.

But either way, Mayfield isn't paying attention to his surroundings well enough and he calls for the snap before DPJ *or* Njoku are fully set.

If you want to say that Njoku and DPJ should have completed the motion and getting set quicker than they did, so be it.

But Mayfield simply has to be more aware that his guys aren't finished getting set yet and not call for the ball. He had 15 seconds left on the play clock and the game clock wasn't running so there was no pressure to snap the ball as quickly as he did. He rushed when he didn't have to.

They probably practice that motion on that play several times a day for the last 2-3 months. For what ever reason DPJ and Njoku didnt get set. It might be Bakers, or DPJ or Njoku's fault or a combo of all 3, its really hard to know not being the coach.

The fact Njoku recognized that DPJ needed to back up leads me to believe maybe its was more DPJ fault because he threw off the timing of the snap not being set properly?

It happens, it sucks it happened, but we dont see a ton of mistakes like this from the Browns since Stefansky. Under previous coaches we would see 4 or 5 a game of those type of mistakes. Oh well, time to move on, and get the W this weekend against the Houston Tyrods, lol.
 

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I'll tell you this much - it's plays like this that divide the Browns from a team that went to the Super Bowl two seasons in a row. If the Browns want to make the jump and use more pre-snap motion, they need to do it without knocking themselves back five yards.
I agree overall, but I'm not sure we want to hammer them too much for a week one mistake, playing in a very loud stadium full of fans for the first time in 20 months.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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They probably practice that motion on that play several times a day for the last 2-3 months. For what ever reason DPJ and Njoku didnt get set. It might be Bakers, or DPJ or Njoku's fault or a combo of all 3, its really hard to know not being the coach.

The fact Njoku recognized that DPJ needed to back up leads me to believe maybe its was more DPJ fault because he threw off the timing of the snap not being set properly?

It happens, it sucks it happened, but we dont see a ton of mistakes like this from the Browns since Stefansky. Under previous coaches we would see 4 or 5 a game of those type of mistakes. Oh well, time to move on, and get the W this weekend against the Houston Tyrods, lol.
Players need to get set and line up correctly. So, yes, DPJ in that situation messed up.

Baker needs to be aware of these things and not get a penalty called on his team. He messed up as well.

With 10 other players on the field, at some point one of them isn't going to be perfect 100% of the time. This is an area Baker can improve. That's a good thing. I'm willing to bet he does improve on this moving forward.
 

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