With tight end David Njoku requesting a trade, should the Chicago Bears trade for him?
Everyone in the NFL knows that the Chicago Bears have a tight end problem. The Bears currently have nine tight ends on the roster and with training camp set to begin in a few weeks, that number will go down to just three or four by the time the regular season begins.
With Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku officially requesting a trade, most would argue that the Bears should just stay away from him. There is no point in giving up more future draft capital for Njoku. Additionally, the Bears have already heavily invested in tight end this offseason by drafting Cole Kmet and signing Jimmy Graham.
For every argument that exists for why the Bears shouldn’t trade for Njoku, there can be arguments made for why general manager Ryan Pace should pull the trigger on a trade for Njoku and make him the tenth tight end on the Bears roster.
First, by the time that the 2020 NFL regular season will begin, Njoku will have turned 24 years old. Youth is the first thing to keep in mind. He’s only entering his fourth season and has 20 starts under his belt. While he dealt with injuries in 2019, he did start 14 games as a sophomore and had 56 receptions for 639 yards and four touchdowns.
Second, pairing Njoku and Kmet up would give the Bears two versatile pieces that would make the offense more dangerous. By having two big tight ends, the Bears would have a more lethal passing game, while also being able to use 12 personnel more. With one running back and two tight ends, head coach Matt Nagy would be able to run the pass-heavy offense he seems to want to employ.
Third, Njoku is a former first-round pick who’s got a low cap hit for 2020. Financially speaking, for the Bears to have a first-round talent on the roster that’s making just three million dollars in 2020, makes sense. While the cap hit would increase to six million dollars in 2021, the Bears could work out a contract extension that would lower Njoku’s cap hit for 2021 and 2022, giving the team some much needed financial flexibility.
One of the biggest obstacles in trading for Njoku will end up being the compensation required. What exactly are the Browns looking for? If it’s draft picks, the Bears likely would need to reach into their 2022 draft capital to make an enticing offer.
Trading for Njoku ultimately would be a low-risk, high-reward move that could give Nagy two tight ends to use in the offense while also giving opposing defenses another playmaker to gameplan for.
Right now, there appears to be a long way to go until Njoku is traded but with each passing day, it’s likely that he gets more anxious for a fresh start and the Browns could be forced to lower their asking price for him, giving the Bears a golden opportunity to get a good player for a bargain price.