Browns are first team to officially use franchise tag

The Cleveland Browns placed the franchise tag on David Njoku, thus taking him off the trade market for now, despite the Austin Hooper contract.

The Browns make a rather expensive investment in a tight end last offseason, signing former Falcons target Austin Hooper to a long-term contract.

But that hasn’t stopped them from keeping David Njoku around, at least for now. Njoku established himself as one of the better receiving threats for Baker Mayfield, though he has been prone to injury at times. While Njoku’s name is constantly on the trade market, the Browns ensured they control his destiny by placing the franchise tag on him.

David Njoku contract

With the franchise tag, Njoku is scheduled to make $10.834 million in the 2022 season, should he remains with the Browns and not sign a long-term deal in Cleveland or elsewhere.

Austin Hooper contract

Hooper signed a four-year, $42 million deal with the Browns last offseason. Cleveland does have a potential out in that deal for 2023, however, which is helpful should they extend Njoku.

What is the franchise tag?

In a previous article, I outlined the pros and cons of the franchise tag:

“The franchise tag is a shockingly organization-friendly tactic that forces pending free agents off the market. While it does pay said players top value for their position, said deal is only a one-year contract, making them enter free agency all over again the next season.

This brings up several risks, such as said player getting injured or even basic aging in the year to come, which could impact their overall value.”

The tag has benefits for players as well, such as being a prelude to a contract extension in certain cases. The tag can also lead to holdouts, as well, if players aren’t happy with their current situation.