Browns Insider Issues Warning on Nick Chubb Ahead of Draft

The Browns drafting a running back with their second-round pick would be bad news for Nick Chubb.

Getty Images The Browns drafting a running back with their second-round pick would be bad news for Nick Chubb.

The decisions of the Cleveland Browns on draft night could indicate how the team feels about Nick Chubb’s future with the franchise.

The Browns do not have a first-round pick in the NFL Draft, which is set to take place April 25-27. Cleveland’s first pick comes in the second round at No. 54 overall. The Browns don’t have a dire need they have to address with that pick, so the team could decide to go in many different directions depending on how things play out.

Browns insider Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland believes that Chubb may be done if the team selects a running back with their first pick.

“For one thing, the team’s offense is totally different now from when Nick joined the team. It’s going away from the running game,” Grossi said during an ESPN Cleveland radio appearance on April 24. “If they [draft a running back at No. 54], I would conclude they have no hope of Nick Chubb playing again.”

Browns Reworked Nick Chubb’s Contract

The Browns have indicated that they expect Nick Chubb to return to the field next season at some point.

Getty ImagesThe Browns have indicated that they expect Nick Chubb to return to the field next season at some point.

All the Browns’ statements have indicated otherwise. The team has remained adamant that Chubb will play at some point next season, although an exact timeline for his return remains uncertain. Chubb is still on the road to recovery following a devastating knee injury he suffered in September of 2023.

Chubb and the Browns agreed to a restructured contract this offseason. The move chopped down Chubb’s base salary of around $12 million and converted much of that into incentives. It lowered Chubb’s cap hit to a manageable $6.275 million.

“Yeah, I won’t comment in detail on the contract, other than to say that I think that whenever you go through a situation like that, I think people think it’s easy for a club, an agent, to be adversarial,” Browns GM Andrew Berry said on April 18. “And, you know, with Nick’s situation, I really applaud Nick and then his reps, Todd France and A.J. Stevens, for being really collaborative partners and finding a solution that worked for everybody.

“You know, I think everybody in this room is happy that Nick is back as a Cleveland Brown and we’re very optimistic that he’s going to crush the rehab.”

Browns Added Depth Behind Nick Chubb

The Browns added D'Onta Foreman in free agency.

Getty ImagesThe Browns added D’Onta Foreman in free agency.

The Browns are anticipating Chubb’s return but aren’t putting all their eggs into him carrying the load either. Cleveland returns Jerome Ford and Pierre Strong Jr. from last year’s squad.

Ford took on the lead back role last season with Chubb sidelined. He finished the season with 813 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns, averaging 4.0 yards per carry.

The Browns also added some veteran depth this offseason, bringing in D’Onta Foreman and Nyheim Hines. Foreman is expected to play the Kareem Hunt-type role, while Hines is more known for his pass-catching and kick-return abilities.

“Depth is important at every position, we were really pleased with that room last year,” Berry said. “I thought Jerome and Pierre in particular, you know, did an incredible job filling in last year, and then obviously we had Kareem (Hunt) in those high leverage and short yardage moments. But Jerome and Pierre, they got obviously a lot of time and a lot of reps last year and feel very good about their skillset. We’ve added a couple of guys to that room with differing skill sets that can complement those guys, but we think we’re in a pretty strong spot.”

Adding a healthy Chubb to the mix would only strengthen that unit. The four-time Pro Bowler has rushed for 6,511 yards and 48 touchdowns over 77 games.

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