The extension agreed upon between the Cleveland Browns and running back Nick Chubb was welcome news, but needed context and Overthecap.com has the details. It not only shows how the Browns can operate in 2022 with both Chubb and Kareem Hunt, but shows how the team is protecting itself.
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There are two key takeaways from the structuring of this contract.
1. Green light for both Chubb and Hunt on roster through 2022
So long as nothing out of the ordinary happens, the Browns will have Chubb and Hunt on the team for two more seasons.
In 2021, their combined salaries add up to $9,782,381. In 2022, it only increases to $11,463,059. That's extremely reasonable so long as both players remain productive. After 2022, Hunt will be a free agent while Chubb's contract escalates substantially. From here, it would appear as though Hunt would continue his career elsewhere, but the cap could increase enough to accommodate both theoretically. Hunt will be 28 years old ahead of the 2023 season.
2. The Browns do have an out in 2024 if they want to exercise it
2023 is the year Chubb's contract will jump all the way up to a $14.85 million cap hit. In 2024, the Browns could simply pay him the $16.2 million as laid out in the deal. However, if the Browns decide they want to move on, they could trade or release Chubb and free up $12.2 million, paying him the $4 million still owed on his signing bonus.
For those worried that Chubb has already had his prime or is currently within it, the Browns have protected themselves against a drop-off in production when he is 29 years old in the last year of his deal.
Should the Browns opt to move on from Chubb ahead of the 2024 season, he would earn $24 million over the first two years of his deal.
The Browns are hoping that Chubb continues to dominate and forces them to keep him through the 2024 season, but they are protecting themselves from an injury or reduced effectiveness.