Browns Predicted to Part Ways With Nick Chubb After Season

Nick Chubb

Getty Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns.

Running backs have had a tough go of late and Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb may not be immune to the recent trend.

Chubb has established himself as one of the best running backs in the league since being drafted by the Browns in 2018. He has four Pro Bowls on his resume and was a second-team All-Pro selection last season after rushing for 1,525 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Browns are facing a decision with Chubb after the coming season. He’ll account for a $16.2 million cap hit in 2024 but Cleveland has some options. They could cut Chubb — which would result in only $4 million in dead cap — or extend him and soften the cap hit.

Considering what’s happened with other high-profile backs around the league recently, Trey Wingo of the 33rd Team and formerly of ESPN isn’t so sure he’ll be in Cleveland for the 2024 season.

“I would really like for them to extend the contract and spread the money out. But I mean look at the Vikings just did with Dalvin Cook,” Wingo said during an appearance on The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima. “Over the last six years, [Cook] had been one of the top four running backs in terms of yards. They won 13 games last year. And they were like, nah we’re good because they have Alexander Mattison. So they drafted Dalvin Cook’s replacement a couple of years ago. I don’t think that person exists in Cleveland yet and I would love to see Nick Chubb get his just reward. But if I’m reading the tea leaves of the NFL and just seeing the trends, I would highly suggest it’s probably going to go the other way.”

Jerome Ford Unlikely Replacement for Nick Chubb With Browns

As Wingo points out, the Browns don’t have another running back waiting in the wings to take over for Chubb. Cleveland drafted Jerome Ford last season but he did little as a rookie to show he could be the future in Cleveland. Ford had just eight carries for 12 yards last season.

That being said, Ford has shown some upside as a versatile weapon and the team has been pleased with his progression this offseason.

“Jerome’s got a skillset that allows him to do anything and everything,” run game coordinator/running backs coach Stump Mitchell said after mandatory minicamp. “Pass protection, we worked a lot (on that) this spring, so that was the really the only thing we didn’t really have a good handle on because he didn’t do it a lot in college.”

Ford will have more opportunities this season following the departures of Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson. He’s expected to be the primary backup to Chubb and there’s little proven depth behind him.

Nick Chubb Not Worried About Role in Browns’ Offense

The Browns are expected to be a more pass-heavy team next season in Year 2 of Deshaun Watson. That could lead to less work for Chubb but the stoic running back isn’t sweating it.

“I’m not worried at all. I can’t control what I can’t control,” Chubb said at minicamp. “When the ball is in my hand, I have full control, so I’m not worried about anything.”

Watson played in six games last season after his 11-game suspension. Chubb did not find the end zone during those six games after finding it a dozen times previously.

“You can’t really look at the numbers. Twelve is the most I’ve ever had since I’ve been here. I don’t think it had much to do with it,” Chubb said. “I think we did have to figure some things out, get the kinks out on offense but I don’t think I’m hindered by Deshaun at all.”

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