The Cleveland Browns and fourth-year running back Nick Chubb were able to work out a modest three-year, $36.6 million extension over the weekend, tying him to the organization through the 2024 season, and helping them preserve perhaps the best running game in the NFL around quarterback Baker Mayfield.
A 2018 second-round pick, Chubb has been an impact player since he was drafted, even if he had to wait a bit to get into the starting lineup. He came up just four yards shy of 1,000 yards as a rookie despite only starting nine games. A year later, he would come up just short of 1,500 yards en route to his first Pro Bowl. And he plans to make many more in Cleveland.
“It means everything” to stay with the Browns, he told reporters yesterday. “I love it here in Cleveland. I love this team. I love the coaches. I love the position that I am in. I can’t ask for anything better than where I am. Cleveland is where I want to be. I am happy to be able to get that done so I can be here for even more years”.
The 2020 season was arguably his best yet, still managing to rush for over 1,000 yards despite missing four games. He actually averaged over 10 yards per carry during the fourth quarter over the length of the entire season, and posted a career-high 5.6 yards per carry overall, with 12 rushing touchdowns.
Chubb, of course, is part of a one-two punch in the backfield for the Browns, although he does a lot more of the punching. They have also extended their other running back, Kareem Hunt, who was a budding star and Pro Bowler with the Kansas City Chiefs before his off-field actions cost him his job.
Together, behind a rebuilt offensive line, the Browns had the third-ranked rushing offense in the NFL last season, totaling 2,374 yards on the ground. They also ranked fifth in touchdowns with 21 and in yards per attempt at 4.8. But now it’s about what comes next.
“The next step is just getting better, building off of last year with the momentum we have and continue to grow team chemistry and putting everything in place so we can go out there and become an even better team”, Chubb told reporters.
The Browns went 11-5 last season, marking their first non-losing season since 2007. They made their first trip to the playoffs since 2002, and won their first playoff game since 1994. And you can bet Chubb and the running game had as much to do with that as anything else.