David Njoku’s contract extension is not good news for the Buffalo Bills
The new contract for David Njoku could impact any potential contract negotiations between the Buffalo Bills and Dawson Knox
On Friday afternoon, it was reported by multiple outlets, including NFL.com, that the Cleveland Browns and tight end David Njoku had agreed to a new four-year contract worth $56.75 million with $28 million guaranteed.
The Browns had used the franchise tag this offseason on the former first round pick so a new contract wasn’t necessarily surprising but the terms of the new deal were. The average salary of $14,187,500 ranks fourth in the league among tight ends, only behind George Kittle, Travis Kelce, and Dallas Goedert.
As for the $28 million guaranteed, that ranks fifth among tight ends who currently are not on rookie contracts with only Kittle, Mark Andrews, Goedert, and Jonnu Smith.
The reason this is notable for the Buffalo Bills is that they could be potentially looking to extend their starting tight end, Dawson Knox, as soon as this offseason. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract and it wouldn’t be surprising that Buffalo has already been in discussions about a new contract.
However, with the contract that Njoku received the discussions may end up being reset with this new deal. While he is a former first round pick, Njoku hasn’t been very consistent and is not really considered to be a Top 5 tight end.
As for Dawson Knox, he is coming off a break-out season with 49 receptions, 587 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns. This is certainly in line with Njoku’s best season, which was in 2018 when he had 56 receptions, 639 receiving yards, and four touchdowns.
Two ways this new contract impacts the Buffalo Bills and potential negotiations with Dawson Knox
The new deal for Njoku has potentially two impacts on the Buffalo Bills with the most obvious being this is a contract that will be included in the two sides. When considering Njoku’s best season was all the way back in 2018 and was able to get the deal he did, it is hard to imagine Knox agreeing to anything less than what David Njoku received.
However, the other way this could impact the Bills is if they are not able to reach a new contract before next offseason, they could look to use the franchise tag. The franchise tag is determined by the average of the Top 5 salaries at the position, which Njoku’s new deal certainly will fall into that category and raise the salary for tight ends who are franchise tagged next offseason.
Knox is part of a group of starters, including Jordan Poyer, Devin Singletary, and Ed Oliver, that could be looking at contract extensions this offseason. It was going to be a challenge for general manager Brandon Beane to keep all of them and that certainly got a little tougher with the new deal that David Njoku agreed to with the Cleveland Browns.