Speaking the reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry addressed the status of several key players and impending free agents.
Here's a look at what Berry had to say about each:
LB Joe Schobert
With Joe Schobert set to become an unrestricted free agent, Berry revealed that the Browns will meet with the linebacker's representatives about a potential long-term deal. Cleveland's general manager, however, also acknowledged that any contract has to make sense for both sides.
"He’s obviously earned the right to test the market if he deems that appropriate But it’s one of those situations where we like Joe," Berry said of Schobert, who led the Browns with 133 tackles last season. "It obviously has to work for both sides. It has to work for us from a cost perspective with our long-term roster strategy. And obviously it has to be a fit for Joe and his family as well.”
TE David Njoku
David Njoku's third season with the Browns was derailed by injuries and an apparent disconnect with Cleveland's coaching staff and front office. Berry, however, remains a fan of the former first-round pick and seemed to imply that the team would be picking up the fifth-year option on the 23-year-old tight end's contract before the May 3 deadline.
"David didn't quite have the year that he anticipated this past fall," Berry said of Njoku, who caught just 5 passes for 41 yards and 1 touchdown in four games in 2019. "But we still view David as a talented pass-catcher and a guy that we expect to take a step forward this upcoming year."
RB Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt's future in Cleveland appeared to become clouded last month when Rocky River police officers found marijuana in the running back's car during a traffic stop. But while he wasn't willing to share at which level the Browns would do it at, Berry did reveal that the team planned to issue the 2017 NFL rushing champ a restricted free agent tender this offseason, paving the path for his return to Cleveland in 2020.
"He's a member of our organization," Berry said of Hunt. "He understands the expectations that we have for him moving forward. We're looking forward to him being a member of our team again provided that he and all of our players abide by our expectations."
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Echoing the same sentiment shared by Odell Beckham Jr. at the end of last season, Berry said he anticipates the 3-time Pro Bowl receiver will remain a member of Cleveland's roster in 2020.
"Odell is a very talented football player. We view him as part of our future," Berry said. "[Head coach] Kevin [Stefanski] and I both have really good conversations about our expectations for him, and we expect him to adapt to those moving forward. We're excited about the future with Odell and excited about what he's going to do this fall."
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