The LA Chargers will be in the market for some tight end help this offseason and a name that was gaining a lot of steam among the fanbase was Cleveland's David Njoku. With an impressive blend of athleticism, pass-catching ability and blocking, Njoku really did seem to be a great potential signing for the Bolts.
While his overall numbers have not been the most impressive, he has been playing in a crowded tight end room and has had Baker Mayfield as his quarterback. Putting him in Jared Cook's role with Justin Herbert throwing him the football is a scary thought for the rest of the league.
However, recent reports indicated that the Browns were willing to pay the market value of $10 million+ per season to retain Njoku, which seemingly took the Chargers out of the running. After not signing Hunter Henry to a similar deal last offseason, it is hard to see the Bolts paying that much for an external tight end.
Some still think David Njoku is heading to the LA Chargers this offseason.
Sayre Bedinger of NFL Spin Zone predicted one big free-agent signing for all 32 NFL teams this offseason. Bedinger predicts that Njoku will indeed end up with the Bolts, providing some insight on why he thinks the two sides still make sense for each other.
"Njoku is an athletic freak and despite already having spent five seasons with the Cleveland Browns, I think there’s a lot of untapped potential to his game that could absolutely be unlocked with the Los Angeles Chargers [...] Even though the Chargers passed on signing Hunter Henry to a big contract last offseason, I think with Jared Cook departing in 2022 in free agency, we could see them revisit the idea of paying a tight end this offseason."
As good as Njoku is, paying him this season would admit fault by the Chargers in not re-signing Hunter Henry last season, which is perfectly fine. That would signal a realization from the front office that paying for a dynamic, dual-threat tight end is good business. It is not like Njoku is worth much more than Henry while also having similar injury history in recent years as Henry did last summer.
Personally, I do not think it happens because I cannot see the mindset of the team changing in just one year, especially with the same head coach and the defense struggling so much last season. I certainly would not complain if Njoku ends up in LA, though.
Bedinger doesn't predict any Chargers free agent to go to another team.
None of the Chargers' existing free agents were predicted to sign with other teams, either. Granted, someone like Uchenna Nwosu might not be the top free-agent signing for a team but based on these predictions, Bedinger seems to think that Kyzir White and Mike Williams return to the team.
If so, the Chargers would not have much more space to spend. Williams is going to cost around $17 million a year, White around $8-9 million a year and Njoku around $10-12 million a year.