About 15 hours after welcoming newly drafted Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku to town, it sounds like fellow tight end Gary Barnidge is done playing with the franchise.
Barnidge, 31, spent the last four seasons with the Browns following four years with the Carolina Panthers, who selected him in the fifth round of the 2008 draft. They didn't on Day 1, as Njoku and O.J. Howard fell off the board after NY went with LSU safety Jamal Adams at No. 6.
As a redshirt freshman in 2015, Njoku showed flashes of his elite talent, with 21 catches for 362 yards and a touchdown. Those two things should help Barnidge as he tries to latch on with another team in the near future.
Barnidge was Cleveland's Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient in 2015 for his play on the field and dedication off it.
On Thursday night, the Browns traded the first pick of the second round (No. 33) and the first selection of the fourth round (No. 108) to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for the 29th choice, which they used on Njoku, 6-foot-4 and 246 pounds. "He has been a fine representative of our team, and we wish him the best going forward".
Despite the fact that the Browns drafted Njoku, Barnidge's release was still a mild surprise. How about 2018? Potentially, but it appears they prefer their young ends and want to get them as many reps as possible. Njoku isn't an O.J. Howard-caliber blocker, but he is functional in that area and is certain to cause passing-game mismatches as a 93rd-percentile athlete with LeBronian length (35 ¼-inch arms, 82 ½-inch wingspan). "Is it something that can be negative to the health of our players?" There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long-term.