David Njoku's future in Cleveland has been secured.
The Browns and Njoku have reached an agreement in principle on a four-year, $56.75 million contract extension, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Friday, per a source.
Rapoport added that Njoku will receive $28 million guaranteed upon signing the contract. The deal nets Njoku $14.1875 million per season -- the fourth-highest average in the NFL at his position, per NFL Research.
Njoku earns a significant pay raise on his new contract. The tight end had previously been given the franchise tag by the Browns, which secured his future for at least one year. Under that tag Njoku was set to make $10.931 million in 2022. Cleveland was well within the July 15 deadline to sign franchise-tagged players to long-term deals.
The 25-year-old recently expressed his desire to remain in Cleveland ahead of the final year of his rookie contract. Njoku now gets his wish coming off a 2021 season where he produced 36 receptions for 475 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games.
Entering Year 6, Njoku is the clear starter in a TE room that has Harrison Bryant and a handful of undrafted free agents. Cleveland released Austin Hooper this past offseason, which may be seen as a vote of confidence for Njoku.
A first-round selection by the Browns in the 2017 NFL Draft, Njoku's tenure so far with the Browns has seen its ups and downs, including a trade request at one point in time. Njoku's production has waned since putting up career-high numbers (56 receptions, 639 yards, 4 TDs) as a bona fide starter in 2018.
As the Browns enter a new era with Deshaun Watson at the helm, Njoku's production may increase significantly with an elite QB throwing him the football. Njoku has totaled 148 receptions for 1,754 yards and 15 TDs through five seasons.