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LA Chargers: Why David Njoku is a great sleeper trade target

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 06: David Njoku #85 of the Cleveland Browns plays against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 06, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 06: David Njoku #85 of the Cleveland Browns plays against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 06, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

The LA Chargers decided not to franchise tag Hunter Henry, who will now become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. Debate has ensued among Charger fans about whether or not Henry is worth a new contract and there is the possibility that Henry is now in the powder blue next season.

Alternatives for Henry have been explored and the most notable example is Zach Ertz. Ertz is on his way out of Philly and the Eagles are looking to trade the former Pro Bowler. There is also the possibility of Ertz being released and being free to sign wherever he pleases.

Personally, I do not think an Ertz trade will happen for a multitude of reasons, but I would not be completely shocked if it does happen. If it doesn’t happen, there is another sleeper trade target that the LA Chargers could potentially explore.

David Njoku.

Njoku is not as big of a name as Ertz and he has had his fair share of injuries, which certainly is worth mentioning. However, if Henry walks and the team is unable to land Ertz, Njoku might be the next-best option.

Here is why.

1. The LA Chargers could likely get David Njoku for relatively cheap

Quite frankly, the Cleveland Browns would be foolish not to trade David Njoku. Njoku is entering the fifth year of his rookie contract and is a free agent after this season and his tenure with the Browns is almost certainly going to end after 2021 regardless.

Plus, the Browns have other tight ends on the roster, making it much easier to part ways with Njoku. Austin Hooper was paid the largest contract to a tight end in NFL history and the team drafted Harrison Bryant — who was someone I really wanted the Chargers to draft last year to avoid this problem — in 2020.

Njoku got hurt in 2019 and hardly played last season, so he does not have that much value. So here you have a guy with not a ton of value and a team that can easily afford to part ways with said player.

There is also no dead cap hit if the Browns trade Njoku. Thus, the Chargers could save them $6 million. The Bolts could legitimately get Njoku for their sixth-round pick, which is fine as they have two of them.

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