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Nick Chubb contract situation: What the Cleveland Browns star is worth

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb and his contract situation has been the talk of the offseason in Ohio. Chubb is eligible for an extension for the first time in his career and is set to hit free agency next March.

Teammates more than believe that the star running back is worth a lucrative long-term deal.

“Pay that man. He’s a freak of nature,” fellow running back Kareem Hunt said, via The Athletic. “He’s like a brother to me. Hope we can play together for a long time.”

The question isn’t whether Nick Chubb should get paid. Rather, it’s all about what his value should be on an extension compared to other running backs in the NFL today.

A second-round pick out of Georgia back in 2018, the two-time Pro Bowler has performed at a high clip in each of his first three NFL seasons.

Nick Chubb stats

  • 2018: 192 attempts, 996 yards, 5.2 average, 20 receptions, 149 yards, 10 touchdowns
  • 2019: 298 attempts, 1,494 yards, 5.0 average, 36 receptions, 278 yards, eight touchdowns
  • 2010: 190 attempts, 1,067 yards, 5.6 average, 26 receptions, 150 yards, 12 touchdowns

Chubb, 25, played all 16 games in each of his first two seasons before missing four games of the 2020 campaign to a an MCL injury in the knee. He’s proven to be durable at this stage of his career despite some injury issues in college. That should play a role in the running back’s market value.

NFL running back contracts and Nick Chubb

nick chubb contract value
Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

As we’ve seen over the past several years, the market for running backs has not been as robust as other positions. Teams tend to place a value on multiple backs rather than those of the three-down variety. To an extent, the Browns have that with Chubb and Hunt.

Should this play a role in the young back’s ability to cash in on a long-term contract? Perhaps. But he’s pretty much on par with other top-flight running backs who are also not seen as true three-down players outside of the likes of Derrick Henry. Here are the top-paid backs in the game and a look at how they might impact Nick Chubb and his potential extension.

  • Christian McCaffrey: Four-year, $64 million ($16 million average, $30 million fully guaranteed)
  • Ezekiel Elliott: Six-year, $90 million ($15 million average, $28.05 million fully guaranteed)
  • Alvin Kamara: Five-year, $75 million ($15 million average, $22.8 million fully guaranteed)
  • Dalvin Cook: Five-year, $63 million ($12.6 million average, $16.33 million fully guaranteed)
  • Derrick Henry: Four-year, $50 million ($12.5 million average, $25.5 million fully guaranteed)

It’s not a shock that running backs fail to get the same guaranteed cash as other premium positions on the football field. Even then, these numbers lag behind other positions in a big way.

Of the five listed above, Alvin Kamara was the most-recent to ink his deal. He signed said extension with the New Orleans Saints back in September of 2020. Derrick Henry inked his deal earlier in the year and got a lot more in guaranteed cash.

With that said, Henry has to be seen as somewhat of an outlier here. He’s the two-time reigning NFL rushing champion and is a true three-down back. After all, the former Heisman winner has touched the ball 718 times over the past two seasons compared to 520 times for Nick Chubb.

So what does this all mean? Based on market dynamics at running back and Chubb’s performance, he’s more than likely set to sign an extension in the neighborhood of what Dalvin Cook earned with the Minnesota Vikings. That is to say, roughly $13 million annually with a bit more in guaranteed cash taking into account inflation and the like.

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