After adding seven new players to their roster through the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns made a pair of decisions about players already on their roster on Monday, officially exercising the fifth-year contract options of 2017 first-round picks Myles Garrett and David Njoku, according to multiple reports.
In exercising their options, the Browns have ensured that both players will remain under team control through at least the 2021 season, although both are currently eligible to sign long-term extensions in Cleveland. Without any extensions in place, both will be slated to become unrestricted free agents following the 2021 campaign.
Salary figures for each player's fifth-year option are not yet available.
While Browns general manager Andrew Berry previously indicated he intended to pick up the fifth-year options for both players, there was some question as to whether or not that would remain the case for Njoku after Cleveland signed Austin Hooper to a 4-year, $42 million contract in free agency. Additionally, the Browns used a fourth-round pick on FAU tight end Harrison Bryant in this year's draft, but both Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski have insisted that Njoku remains a part of the team's future.
"We see David as part of our long-term plans," Berry said.
The No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, Garrett totaled 30.5 sacks in his first 37 NFL games -- including 13.5 in a Pro Bowl campaign in 2018 -- before being suspended for the final eight games of the 2019 season after striking Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with his helmet during a fight. Garrett was reinstated by the NFL earlier this offseason and be eligible to play at the start of the 2020 campaign.
Selected with the No. 29 overall pick three years ago, Njoku saw his production increase from 32 receptions for 386 yards and 4 touchdowns as a rookie to 56 receptions for 639 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2018. In 2019, however, the Miami (Fla.) product caught just 4 passes for 51 yards and 1 touchdown in 4 games as injuries and a disconnect with the coaching staff limited his playing time.