- According to Pro Football Talk, Browns TE David Njoku‘s four-year, $54.75 million deal is not an extension, but a new deal that includes the $10.9 million franchise tag he was set to play on in 2022.
- The deal includes an $11.465 million signing bonus and base salaries of $1.035 million, $4.5 million, $13 million and $14.25 million. Njoku’s base salaries in 2022 and 2023 are fully guaranteed and $3 million of his 2024 base is guaranteed at signing, with the rest becoming guaranteed in March of 2023.
- Njoku also has an $8 million option bonus in 2023, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed in March of 2023. There is up to $1.5 million annually in per-game roster bonuses in 2024 and 2025.
- There are annual incentives of $250,000 for being named first or second-team All-Pro and $500,000 for that plus the Browns making the playoffs. Per Over The Cap, the deal includes a void year in 2026.
- The Browns picked up $9.5 million in additional cap space following June 1 for the release of TE Austin Hooper. He will still count for $7.5 million in dead money in 2023. (Over The Cap)
- Browns QB Deshaun Watson is facing a new 23rd civil lawsuit following the recent HBO Real Sports segment. (Aaron Wilson)
- The latest plaintiff, Nia Smith, had three sessions with Watson in 2020 and claims the quarterback repeatedly requested sex, touched between her legs, and refused to cover himself during their massage sessions.
- The lawsuit states that Smith quit her job at New U. Salon Spa after complaining about Watson’s misconduct to the owner of the spa, Dionne Louis.
- Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, responded that his client denies the allegations and claims that Smith has a “vendetta” against Watson after posting his personal information on social media in 2021: “Deshaun Watson vehemently denies the allegations, just as he has since she first discussed them with members of our firm in March of last year. She repeated the allegations on social media in August and he denied them then. The only thing new about her contentions is the embellishment making them more extreme than prior versions. Deshaun’s denial remains the same.”
- The attorney for the plaintiffs, Tony Buzbee, has added that a 24th lawsuit is in the process of being filed. (Pro Football Talk)
The Baltimore Ravens announced that they have officially promoted nine members of their personnel department, including:
- David Blackburn as director of college scouting.
- Mark Azevedo as assistant director of player personnel.
- Houegnon Attenoukon as a full-time area scout.
- Patrick McDonough as a Northeast area scout.
- Derrick Yam as manager of data and decision science.
- Jenn Hoffman as chief of staff to the general manager.
- Kevin Domboski as an associate head athletic trainer.
- Mark Bievenu as vice president of football video operations.
- Collin Ferguson as director of football video operations.
New Steelers GM Omar Khan talked about the absence that will be created by former GM Kevin Colbert, as well as briefly touched on how the team will keep him involved.
“He’s always a phone call away,” Khan told Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com. “There’s not going to be a lot of change here. I don’t foresee a lot of change.”
“We’re still working through that process, but I hope so,” Khan said of Colbert’s future role.
Khan also noted that the team policy of not negotiating deals with potential free agents during the season would remain in place, despite doing so with OLB T.J. Watt.
“Those discussions are always going to be, you know, we’re going to get in a room and decide what the best timing is for that,” Khan said, via Pro Football Talk. “And those big decisions are always going to be Steeler decisions.”