Nick Chubb has absolutely earned himself a new contract but unlike Baker Mayfield, it’s time to lock up the Browns runningback before next year.
The Browns will have a lot of decisions to make soon about their stars. Baker Mayfield is going to covet what a quarterback of his caliber deserves. Maybe you can swap guaranteed money with potential money and lower his overall cap impact but you’re not going to avoid a big number. Nick Chubb, the cornerstone of the playmakers, is also going to deserve a big number for his next contract. Unlike with Mayfield, who you can wait on until after year-five, with Chubb, you better sign him now while his worth is lower than it should be.
See, right now Chubb is coming off of an injury ladened 2020. His season totals aren’t as high as they should be, and missing nearly five-whole games isn’t exactly a good negotiating tactic for his agent. If the Browns don’t extend him soon, they’ll have to franchise tag him to keep him. That could cost them up to $12 million in 2022, still cheaper than Chubb is worth but also may be a reason for him to leave.
Players like stability. Getting Chubb looked up now, while you can justify offering him a smidge less than what he could covet on the open market, helps limit what he could cost you down the road. After all, no player is guaranteed their health.
The salary cap is the thing that makes all franchises eventually bend the knee. Even the Patriots were forced to let go of Tom Brady due to their cap situation, and he’s back in the Super Bowl, while the Patriots, well, aren’t.
Getting Chubb on a deal now could lock him up through his prime. Offer him five years, with a sixth-year option, with a total of $40 million, $30 million of it which is guaranteed over the first three years, and boom. He gets more money than Derrick Henry ($50 mil/only $25 mil guaranteed), and the Browns have cap relief in three years should Chubb become injury prone.
It works but won’t work after next year when Chubb is healthy and destroys the league on a revenge tour. So sign him now, give him more guaranteed money than Henry, and hope the generousness in the guaranteed money will help save the team $2 million against the cap for the next five years.