Browns Face ‘Hairy’ Situation With RB Nick Chubb

The Cleveland Browns face a difficult decision with RB Nick Chubb.

Getty Images The Cleveland Browns face a difficult decision with RB Nick Chubb.

A tough situation is on the horizon for the Cleveland Browns regarding Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb.

Chubb is out for the year after suffering a season-ending injury in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Chubb, 27, needed a pair of surgeries to repair his knee, the most recent coming on November 14.

Chubb has been the heartbeat, producing on the field and not bringing any baggage. The Browns have relied heavily on Chubb since he arrived in Cleveland back in 2018 as a second-round pick. He rushed for 1,525 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. It was his fourth consecutive season rushing for over 1,000 yards, and his career 5.3 per carry average is among the league’s elite.

He’s a fan-favorite and the hope from many is that he’ll never wear another uniform in his NFL career. However, the current numbers might make that tough, as pointed out by Zac Jackson of The Athletic. Jackson pitched a potential solution.

“Nick has no guaranteed money but his cap number is $16 million and it would be $4 million in dead money to cut him,” Jackson said on the “Civilized Barking” podcast. “I think both with Nick and Jack Conklin the resolution would be a reworked contract.”

Browns Expect Nick Chubb Back Next Season

Browns RB Nick Chubb.

Getty ImagesBrowns RB Nick Chubb.

The Browns are adamant that the expectation is that Chubb will play next season. But there are still a lot of unknowns coming off major knee surgery.

“Try to think that Nick Chubb comes back next October or November and help you. That’s obviously what everyone wants,” Jackson said. “But it’s going to get hairy because this team is going to need the money and we just don’t know. Nick Chubb had two major knee surgeries. The second of which was just a few months ago.”

Another factor that doesn’t help Chubb’s cause is the struggling running back market. Even before his injury, the Browns were going to have to decide on Chubb’s future. He was poised to be an outlier in what has been a rough situation for running backs but the injury now muddies his future.

Chubb signed a three-year, $36.6 million extension with the Browns in 2021, rightfully making him one of the highest-paid running backs in the league. A restructured deal isn’t what he likely envisioned heading into the season but it would give Chubb a chance to prove he’s still got it.

Jerome Ford Stepping Up For Browns

Chubb has been around the facility and accompanied the Browns on their West Coast trip. He’s been able to mentor Jerome Ford, who has carried the load as the Browns’ lead back.

Ford leads the Browns in yards (628), carries (145) and has also caught 27 passes for 163 yards. He has five total touchdowns.

“He definitely has grown up. I’m really proud of his efforts, his ability to run the ball,” Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said on Thursday, November 30. “He’s popped some big runs for us, and he had three last week for ten yards, which was great. His approach is the same every day. I think he’s got great leadership in the room with Stump (Mitchell), other great pros in there. Nick Chubb’s in the room, so he knows how to prepare and what it’s going to take on game day.”

Kareem Hunt and Pierre Strong Jr. have also chipped in for the Browns. Cleveland ranks No. 3 in the league in team rushing yards per game, coming in at 139.5.

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