Multiple franchise-caliber running backs did not reach long-term deals with their teams prior to Monday’s deadline. That included New York Giants star Saquon Barkley and reigning rushing leader Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders, who have yet to sign their franchise tag deals with their teams. Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard did sign his tender but was another notable name not wrangle a long-term deal, despite being named a Pro Bowler last season.
The situation has brought about a lot of debate over the position and how teams are valuing the position. Chubb showed support for his position-mates with a post, putting up a tweet from San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey.
“This is criminal,” McCaffrey tweeted. “Three of the BEST players in the entire league, regardless of position.”
Nick Chubb Faces Uncertain Future With Browns
Other running backs also weighed in on the issue, including Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry, who is entering the final year of his deal.
“At this point, just take the RB position out the game then,” Henry tweeted. “The ones that want to be great & work as hard as they can to give their all to an organization just seems like it don’t even matter. I’m with every RB that’s fighting to get what they deserve.”
Chubb has yet to issue his own statement on the issue but it will likely be a topic he’s asked about once training camp rolls around later the month.
Chubb is a key figure in the debate, not only because of his talent but also because of his current contract. He’s the fourth highest-paid running back in terms of annual value and has the highest base salary. Chubb signed a three-year extension worth over $36 million in 2021.
The Browns have a potential out after this season that would save them more than $12 million in cap space, although it would cost them their most consistent offensive weapon. Even if the offense shifts to a more pass-heavy approach, Chubb is among the most reliable players in football — regardless of position — and has shown little sign of slowing down.
Browns Confident Nick Chubb Can Take Next Step
Chubb’s resume since entering the league is tremendous but there’s room for him to get even better, per his running backs coach Stump Mitchell.
“Nick will probably go all year and he will probably have about, I would say 15 runs where he probably could have pressed the run track a little bit more,” Mitchell said. “And if we can improve upon that, I think he can probably lead the league in rushing, even though those guys may have 100 more carries than he will, it doesn’t matter. If we can improve upon that, he can still lead the league in rushing because he’s averaging over 5.2 yards a carry. If we can improve upon that, he can average maybe six yards a carry and he can lead the league in rushing. When I nitpick Nick, he understands there’s big yardage that he left on the field.”
It’s a big goal but if anyone can do it, it’s Chubb. He rushed for 1,525 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, which was his fourth consecutive season rushing for over 1,000 yards.