5 Elite RBs Hitting Free Agency Who Can Replace Nick Chubb Long-Term for the Browns

The upcoming free agent running back class might be the best ever.

Derrick Henry is one of the Browns' best options for replacing Nick Chubb long-term in the 2024 offseason.
Derrick Henry is one of the Browns' best options for replacing Nick Chubb long-term in the 2024 offseason. / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Tony Pollard

Like Ekeler, Tony Pollard doesn't quite fit the vibe in the Cleveland backfield, but he's simply too good to write off purely on that basis. Part of being a good coach is putting your best players in position to succeed, and Pollard is worth tweaking an offense for.

He hasn’t had to do much heavy lifting in 2023 so far with the Dallas Cowboys blowing out both of their first two opponents, but Pollard has been one of the most efficient runners in the NFL in recent years.

He had a down season in 2020 when he was playing without Dak Prescott, but he averaged at least 5.2 yards per carry in 2019, 2021 and 2022. 

In fact, if we look at all running backs with 500-plus rush attempts since Pollard came into the league, he’s about as efficient as it gets. Nick Chubb leads that group in yards per carry with 5.3, but Pollard is close behind in third place at 5.0.

Pollard has never had to shoulder workhorse volume, sharing the backfield with Ezekiel Elliott, but that's easy to view as a positive. He doesn't have the heavy mileage on him that some of the other available backs do. That should hopefully help his legs stay fresh a little longer and push back the dreaded cliff most high-volume running backs eventually fall off of.

Like Eleker, Pollard's contributions as a receiver are worth noting too. He caught 39 passes in each of the last two seasons, averaging 8.6 and 9.5 yards per receptions and gaining first downs on 42% of those receptions.

Pollard clearly wants to get paid like an elite running back (he's stuck on the franchise tag in Dallas for 2023), but he also clearly deserves it.