Browns Trading Nick Chubb Based on ‘Cold Logic’ Says Insider

Nick Chubb

Getty Images Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns.

There’s been some unfounded scuttlebutt about the Cleveland Browns potentially trading superstar running back Nick Chubb but one insider sees some “cold logic” behind the consideration.

Chubb has been nothing short of miraculous for the Browns, churning out 1,000-yard seasons and providing a sense of stability in the backfield for the offense. He was recently named to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl and was a second-team All-Pro this season after rushing for 1,525 on a 5.0 per carry average, adding 12 touchdowns.

But Chubb plays a position where there are real concerns about longevity. Chubb is coming off a season where he had 302 carries — third-most in the league — and has been a workhorse for the Browns. That has a chance to increase next season, with Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson on the way out and Jerome Ford likely to slide in as the backup to Chubb.

Chubb hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down but running back production is something that doesn’t usually trickle off. It falls off in a hurry. Just ask someone like Ezekiel Elliott on the Cowboys, who signed a lucrative deal with the team in 2019, but is at risk of being cut this offseason.

Breer on Trading Chubb: ‘I Understand the Logic’

On the surface, it sounds wildly farfetched for the Browns to trade their most effective offensive player at the peak of his powers. But Albert Breer of the MMQB — while not an advocate — can see the logic behind the idea.

“I understand some people saying the logic. Getting ahead of the posse, right? Like, he’s got a lot of mileage on him and what is it gonna look like at the end. Those are fair questions there. I wouldn’t deny it — all those things are fair to ask,” Breer said on the Afternoon Drive on The Fan.

The arrival of Deshaun Watson marked a shift in offensive philosophy in Cleveland, albeit it didn’t manifest too much in his six starts last season. With a full offseason, no suspension looming, and the rust knocked off, Watson’s impact should be felt far more next season.

But even if the Browns shift to a more pass-heavy approach, Breer points out that having a weapon like Chubb available to balance the offense is a huge benefit to the passing game.

“I understand the cold logic if you’re looking at this. If you’re staring into a computer screen, and you’re working in a roster management system, or something like that,” Breer said. “But I just think the human element of all this, all the stuff on the line for all the people there. And then how you set up an offensive specifically for Deshaun Watson, to me, would make it really, really hard.”

The other thing to weigh is that running back deals — even for Pro Bowl-caliber backs — usually don’t fetch a strong return. Christian McCaffrey got the Panthers a second, third, fourth and fifth-round pick — by far the most impactful return of a recent trade involving a running back.

Nick Chubb Disappointed With How Season Unfolded

While the individual accolades continue to add up for Chubb, the Browns finished a disappointing 7-10 in spite of his contributions.

“It is bittersweet. Individually, it is something that I am proud of for sure. Had a lot of help with the O line and guys blocking for me. At the end of the day, I am about winning,” Chubb said on January 9. “It is stuff to be proud of for sure from this season. There are things we need to work on, but overall, it is bittersweet right now.”

Chubb is looking forward to having a full season to put everything together and combine forces with Watson to propel the offense to new heights.

“It is just that we can be good at both. That is what gives me hope,” Chubb said. “We all know we can run the ball well. Now with Deshaun, we do a lot of great different things passing the ball. Just putting it all together and making it match.”

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