Browns Give Green: Chubb Gets Paid

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) wears a shirt that says “vote” before an NFL football game at FirstEnergy Stadium, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Cleveland, Ohio. [Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal] Browns 19

Nick Chubb has steadily solidified himself as one of the premier running backs in the NFL over the past couple of seasons. On the final day of July 2021, he got paid like a premier running back.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Browns and Chubb agreed in principle to a three-year contract extension valued at approximately $36.6 million. The deal, which includes $20 million in guaranteed cash, would make him the sixth-highest paid running back in the league based on yearly averages of the deal.

A 2018 second-round pick by the Browns, Chubb has steadily seen his production hover right around 1000 yards on the ground each season, although his stats did dip to only 1067 rushing yards last season.

Now as he prepares to enter his fourth campaign in the orange and brown, he and the team have high expectations to live up to. As for the extension, Rapoport thinks it was well deserved.

“The 25-year-old Chubb, who could have another extension in store when he’s 28, is entering his fourth NFL season after back-to-back campaigns in which he rushed for more than 1000 yards and earned Pro Bowl bids,” Rapoport said. “Heading into a 2021 campaign in which many believe success to be at hand for the Browns, Chubb and Kareem Hunt provide Cleveland with one of the top-two combos around.”

The Browns, whose backfield was restocked and rebuilt through that 2018 draft with Chubb and quarterback Baker Mayfield, can point to that duo as a major reason why the franchise had as much success as they did during the 2020 season. The former Georgia Bulldog running back is turning himself into a primary bellcow for carries and will handle a majority of the workload again in 2021.

As for his fellow draft pick, no deal is done yet. For Browns fans, having Chubb extended is good, but not quite as important.

“Interestingly enough, though, an impending extension for Chubb isn’t the one in the Browns backfield that’s garnered the most anticipation, as quarterback Baker Mayfield heads into the fourth season of his five-year rookie deal,” Rapoport said. “Mayfield was the top overall selection of the 2018 NFL Draft, while Chubb, whose 5.2 yards per carry since 2018 trail only Lamar Jackson, was selected 35th overall in the second round of the same draft.”

Having that mentality, Chubb is putting in the work to prove that he can continue to play at such a high level. His nose to the grindstone and offseason training is a major reason for his early career success.

The expectation is that the former Bulldog Chubb will continue to be a workhorse in 2021 despite a bit of a dip in production last season.

“Chubb rumbled to 1,494 yards in 2019, trailing Derrick Henry by 46 yards for the rushing title,” Rapaport said. “Last season, Chubb was seventh in the NFL with 1067 yards. A rugged runner able to run through defenders and gain the tough yards, Chubb has also shown off his ability to break off a big gain. Now, he’s broke loose for the biggest paycheck of his still-burgeoning career.”

The hype is real for the 2021 Cleveland Browns, and with Nick Chubb guaranteed to stay at least through the 2023 season, the backfield will continue to see dominance from the running back position.