The Patriots need a lot of help on offense. Void of dynamic playmakers not named Cam Newton, New England’s offense isn’t scaring anyone, with Sunday’s ugly loss to the Denver Broncos offering the latest evidence.
And while there isn’t one cure-all for what currently ails the Patriots, one potential remedy reportedly is available.
Tight end David Njoku wants the Cleveland Browns to trade him before the Nov. 3 NFL trade deadline, Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reported Monday, citing a source. Njoku, a 2017 first-round pick, looked like an emerging star in his first two seasons but missed much of last year due to an injury and has seen his role reduced this campaign following Cleveland’s offseason signing of Austin Hooper and drafting of Harrison Bryant.
From Cabot’s story published Monday:
Tight end David Njoku would still like the Browns to trade him, a league source told cleveland.com on Monday.
Njoku, who initially asked to be traded on July 3 but then rescinded the request on Aug. 1, would like to find a new home by the trade deadline on Nov. 3rd.
To this point, the Browns haven’t been willing to trade him, but they might be open to it if someone makes them an offer they can’t refuse. The Browns need help at linebacker, safety and cornerback, and could possibly pick up a starter to help out down the stretch.
The Patriots absolutely should give Cleveland a call.
If New England wants to go anywhere this season, it must get far more production at wide receiver and at least some production from the tight end position. Ryan Izzo is fine but nothing more. The Patriots surely hoped to receive contributions from rookie tight ends from Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene, but the former has yet to receive a single target and the latter can’t even get on the field.
There are rumors New England is losing confidence in both players and isn’t sure whether either ever will become a meaningful contributor.
Njoku would be an immediate upgrade over Izzo, Asiasi and Keene and also, potentially, could fill a tight end void that has existed since Rob Gronkowski began looking ordinary at the beginning of the 2018 season. The Miami product is athletic, explosive (when healthy) and still just 24 years old. If Bill Belichick is comfortable with Njoku’s attitude — as if such things have stopped him from adding the Antonio Browns of the world in recent years — he should consider coughing up the assets necessary to acquire a player like Njoku.
The season, and this is not an exaggeration, could depend on it.
Njoku has one year left on his current deal and his due $6 million next season. He caught 56 balls for 639 yards to go along with four touchdown receptions in 2018 but has just 10 catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns since.