Browns Re-Work Chris Hubbard’s Deal, Likely Keeping Him Through 2020

Chris Hubbard’s job security with the Cleveland Browns was called into question after the team signed right tackle Jack Conklin in free agency. It goes without saying that the former Pittsburgh Steeler whom Mike Tomlin affectionately referred to as ‘Mother Hubbard’ would not be starting over Conklin, after all.

But Hubbard was said to have his fair share of supporters within the Browns’ facilities, and that’s no small feat considering they are on about their 100th different regime there since he signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2018. He will be on his third different head coach, for example, heading into 2020.

Yesterday, Field Yates reportedly that the Browns reworked Hubbard’s contract, now giving him a $1 million signing bonus in 2020 and guaranteeing $1 million of his $2.15 million base salary, with a maximum earning level of $5 million. He is also given the option of voiding the remainder of the contract in 2021 if he logs 90 percent of the team’s snaps.

The deal gives the Browns some more cap space while giving Hubbard job security for 2020 and the option of seeking other opportunities in 2021 if he continues to start. Because he has the capability of playing both inside and outside, there is still the possibility that he could start at right guard. Left tackle is still technically open, as well.

In other words, it’s still rather possible that Hubbard plays 90 percent of the snaps for the Brown this year. He played 100 percent of the snaps in 2018, and 86 percent of the snaps in 2019, missing two games last season.

Previously, Hubbard was scheduled to earn a base salary of $6.15 million for 2020 (and increasing by $500,000 in each of the two subsequent years, the remaining length of the deal), and he has $350,000 in workout and per-game roster bonuses tied to each year as well.

His original contract called for just a $4 million signing bonus, meaning that his prorated cap hit for that was only $800,000 for each of the five years on the deal. He had a total of $9 million guaranteed when he signed, including his $2.5 million base salary in 2018 and a $2.5 million roster bonus that year. As of now, he has earned a little over $15 million of the $36.5 million deal.

It’s still possible that the Browns could ultimately trade Hubbard, but for the time being, it appears as though they are content to keep him in the building, whether or not he is in the starting lineup. So don’t expect any Steelers reunion any time soon.

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