Done Deal: Cleveland Browns finally succeeded on re-signing Nick Chubb with an agreement of one year contract for $17 million added to his salary

In an effort to get Nick Chubb healthy by 2024, the Browns are renegotiating his contract.

Reworked contract between the Cleveland Browns and running back Nick Chubb crosses off another financial item from the team’s summer agenda. The revised agreement reduces Chubb’s basic pay for 2024 by around $4 million to $11.75 million, as first reported by NFL Network.

When Chubb is given the all-clear to return, he will have the opportunity to recoup the money through incentives. He sustained severe knee injuries in Week 2 of the previous season, necessitating two offseason surgeries to repair his left ACL and MCL. Since late last year, he has been receiving rehabilitation inside the Browns’ facility; the team has stated that there is no specific date set for his comeback until this summer.

Despite the discomfort, it was assumed that the Browns would keep Chubb. What’s most noteworthy is that he only has a contract through 2024, which is his age-28 season and the last year of the new agreement he signed before 2021.

The Browns are hoping he can contribute to the team at some point during the 2017 season, even though the long-term picture is unclear. Since joining the team in 2018, he has established himself as one of the top running backs in the league, finishing either first or second (behind Jim Brown) on the most of the franchise’s rushing record lists. Before sustaining the injury in Pittsburgh last September, Chubb had four seasons in a row with 1,000 yards rushing. His career average is 5.3 yards per carry.

As the Browns have done in numerous previous deals, they used void years to spread out the cap hit over multiple seasons and reduce his 2024 number to around $6.3 million. The Browns have been (and will continue to be) one of the league’s most aggressive cash-spending teams, so most significant here is the 2024 cap savings of around $9 million. Before this agreement, Over the Cap had the Browns with just under $4 million in available cap space.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry rarely speaks publicly about contract matters, even less significant and less expensive ones than Chubb’s. That Berry said in January the team would need to rework Chubb’s deal was both part of the negotiating process and a strong sign it was going to happen. At both the NFL Scouting Combine in February and the league’s annual meeting in March, Berry stressed that the Browns planned to keep Chubb.

Thus far, they’ve not exercised their right to rework quarterback Deshaun Watson’s contract for 2024; Watson is set to play the season with a record cap number of $63.9 million.

Chubb is a low-key, low-maintenance star, and he’s been one of the team’s most popular players inside the locker room and with the fan base. The Browns are set to return all 11 of their opening-day starters on offense from their 11-win team in 2023. With their eyes set on making another playoff run, they hope to have Chubb serving as the closer at least in the middle and latter parts of the season.

Jerome Ford became the team’s lead back in Chubb’s absence last year. Ford and Pierre Strong Jr. return to the backfield, and the Browns also signed veterans Nyheim Hines and D’Onta Foreman in March. Hines is recovering from a torn ACL, and though Foreman is probably easily projected as the short-yardage specialist, it’s hard to see how Cleveland might use its backs until we know when Chubb and Hines will be available.


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