The team locked him up through his prime
The Browns got a great deal on Chubb, not just financially, we’ll get to that next, but in terms of length. The team has locked up Nick Chubb through the next four seasons (counting 2021), which will take him through his age 29 season. 30 is the defacto age that many consider replacing running backs, but that’s not always the case. Some break down far sooner, while others are still wildly effective well after 30.
Regardless of how long Chubb remains among the elite in the NFL, getting him locked up at least through, at least, his perceived prime is a smart move. They can always offer new, shorter deals after 2025, which would be heavily incentive deals to help entice him, all while keeping the contracts shorter. That way, should he start to lose his edge or become too injury prone, you could move him without incurring much of if any of a loss.
The length is the perfect balance of long-term expectation and short-term realities. You’re not going so long you know you’re going to end up overpaying for it eventually like in baseball. Four or five-year extensions would run you the risk of seeing Chubb become a shell of himself at worst, or at the very best, just not worth his big salary any longer.
This was the right length because odds are that Chubb follows a traditional NFL career for running backs. Sure, Chubb could blow his knee out tomorrow and retire, or play until he’s 42 at a high level, but the Browns are playing the odds that by 30, Chubb won’t be worth the contract he had anymore. Maybe they bring him back, maybe not.
At least they got him locked for now, and that can be 2025’s problem.