Despite a reported trade request, tight end David Njoku remains a member of the Cleveland Browns and rookie head coach Kevin Stefanski is looking forward to getting to work with him.
"We believe in David, excited to work with him," Stefanski said, via the team website. "I'll get to finally be in the same room as him this weekend – he's coming in for physicals – and then get out on the field with him Monday. Excited to work with him."
Most recently, Njoku tweeted out his admiration for the city of Cleveland and that his sentiments were unchanged despite "a lot of complications" that come with the NFL game.
Njoku was a first-round selection of the Browns in 2017 and has two seasons left under contract in Cleveland as his fifth-year option was picked up. Due to injury and apparent disharmony, Njoku's 2019 season was all but a lost one for the 24-year-old.
After suffering a broken wrist and a concussion in the infant stages of last season, Njoku returned in Week 14, though he did not start. He didn't play in any of the next two weeks and had only four snaps in the season opener as there was apparent unrest between he and then-coach Freddie Kitchens. In all, Njoku had five catches for 41 yards with just one start and only five games of action. Over his first two seasons, Njoku had averaged 44 receptions for 512 yards and four touchdowns.
Since Stefanski has taken the Browns' reins, the team has signed Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper, formerly of the Falcons, and drafted Harrison Bryant. However, Stefanski is well-known for his propensity of running two tight end sets. So, being "excited" to get to work with Njoku would hardly seem to be a stretch.
Stefanski is also looking forward to seeing standout wide receiver Jarvis Landry on the field, though that's a different matter as the five-time Pro Bowler is returning from offseason hip surgery.
"He remains on schedule based on everything he has done post-surgery," Stefanski said.
It's hardly a novel storyline, but if the Browns can get all their talent happy, healthy and on the field, fortunes bode well for Cleveland.