David Njoku skips OTAs, reportedly ‘close’ on a new contract

The Cleveland Browns opened OTAs to the media today for the first of three sessions. The big story is the signing of Jadeveon Clowney and his appearance at the voluntary practice today.

The excitement around the offense with Deshaun Watson and Amari Cooper added to a great offensive line and run game will likely dominate the discussions, as it should. While Jarvis Landry has moved on, the Browns retained David Njoku as another important piece of the revamped offense by placing the franchise tag on him.

After Clowney’s news broke, Njoku posted to Instagram that it might be his turn to sign a deal.

A new report from Mary Kay Cabot says that Njoku is not at OTAs today but that Cleveland and Njoku are close on a new deal:

According to Over The Cap, a $13 million average would make Njoku the fifth highest paid tight end (based on average yearly salary) behind George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Dallas Goedert and Mark Andrews. It would slot him just ahead of Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry.

The franchise tag guarantees Njoku just under $11 million for one year currently. The 26-year-old former first-round pick played in 16 games last season with 36 receptions, 475 yards and four touchdowns. Njoku’s blocking has been stellar the last two seasons as well.

For now, Njoku stays away from OTAs but did spend time with the offense during the Bahamas trip provided by Watson this weekend.