Browns’ Njoku happy with role, wants to stay in Cleveland

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BEREA, Ohio (AP)Browns tight end David Njoku has changed his mind – again.

After asking to be traded by Cleveland a year ago, Njoku now says he’s happy and comfortable with the Browns and has asked his agent to try and work out a contract extension with the team.

”I’ve been here for four years, knocking on five, I don’t really know anything different,” the 2017 first-round draft pick said Friday. ”I’d like to stay here.”

It’s another reversal for Njoku, who recently fired super agent Drew Rosenhaus and gone back to Malki Kawa, his original representative. Last year, Njoku was displeased when the Browns signed tight end Austin Hooper to a massive free agent contract and then drafted Harrison Bryant.

Njoku felt like the odd-man out, and he wanted out.

But Browns general manager Andrew Berry held on to Njoku, and after a steady 2020 season and strong performance in the playoffs (four catches for 54 yards) against Kansas City, he feels like he has a more defined role.

The Browns showed their confidence and commitment in him by exercising his $6 million option during the offseason, guaranteeing his deal.

”It showed me that obviously they want me to be here for a certain reason and it excited me that I got to stay here and play with my teammates,” Njoku said. ”I have great teammates so that got me excited.”

Njoku has had a solid training camp, and Thursday he made several nice catches in drills against the New York Giants.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has been impressed with his teammate’s play.

”David’s playing with the mentality that he’s trying to help our team out and that’s what we want with everybody,” Mayfield said before the Browns held their second joint practice with the Giants.

Njoku has been through his share of lows and highs with Cleveland The Browns went 0-16 in his rookie season, but after a playoff appearance last year, expectations are soaring and he wants to enjoy the ride.

”Winning obviously cures almost everything,” he said. ”Just winning with my teammates here, it’s not really any better feeling than that.”

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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