At a time that finds the majority of NFL teams focusing on pass first offensive strategies, the Cleveland Browns just made a very smart and impactful investment in the future of their running game. A running game that was at or near the top of the league in many key statistical categories, and helped lead the Browns to their first playoff appearance since 2002.
The #Browns and RB Nick Chubb have an agreement in principle on a 3-year contract extension worth $36.6M, per sources. $20M fully guaranteed. A huge deal for the bell cow in Cleveland. 💰 💰 💰— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 31, 2021
Well Earned and Much Deserved
Nick Chubb since entering the NFL in 2018:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 31, 2021
▫️3,557 rushing yards (3rd in NFL)
▫️5.2 yards/rush (best amongst all RB)
▫️28 rushing TD (6th in NFL)
Arguably the best pure runner in the league and you won’t find a player with higher football character.
The breakdown provided by Field Yates in the tweet above is evidence enough to justify the Browns desire to secure a future that involves Nick Chubb. Combine that with the information provided by The 33rd Team below:
Nick Chubb averaged 5.6 yards per carry in 2020, despite facing an 8+ man box about 31.5% of the time (10th highest in the league) https://t.co/QH7zkakBCv— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) July 31, 2021
In other words, opposing defenses knew exactly what the Browns intended to do and yet they still couldn’t stop it. Chubb was able to average 5.6 Yards Per Carry and just under 89 Yards Per Game during the 12 games he played in 2020.
Ball security is another major benefit of Nick Chubb, as he only fumbled once in his 190 carries last season, and only has 3 total fumbles in his 680 career carries. This level of consistency is incredibly rare given the volume of carries compiled.
Not only was Chubb consistent and reliable, he was also very explosive. Chubb averaged 1.2 “big runs” per game in 2020 with 14 runs that exceeded 20+ yards.
Kareem Hunt Gets His Wish
I’m sure Kareem Hunt is not the only person in Cleveland that is happy to see Nick Chubb sticking around for the foreseeable future. Now that the pieces are in place it’s time for the team to go out and deliver when it matters the most.
Potential Distraction Avoided
An added bonus to this extension getting done now is that it prevents any potential noise regarding pending contract talks. As in, no speculation of whether they will reach an agreement playing out throughout the season. When it comes to winning, the less distractions the better. So the fact that the Browns and Chubb were able to put an end to those questions before they began will benefit both sides in the short term as well as the long term.
Future is Bright for Football in Cleveland
The Browns will look to continue building upon recent success, and having both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt under contract will go a long way in ensuring success in that endeavor. Next up in terms of contract situations needing to be addressed is that of Baker Mayfield. As a Browns fan, I feel much better about moving forward with Mayfield now knowing the backfield will remain consistent for the next few seasons.