Browns Not Planning RB Addition; Latest On Nick Chubb

With the new league year not far away, many teams around the NFL have begun restructures and cost-shedding releases to become cap compliant. In the case of the Browns, many have pointed to running back Nick Chubb as a potential cap casualty.

Chubb has one year remaining on his deal, and he is due a non-guaranteed base salary of $11.78MM for 2024. The four-time Pro Bowler will carry a cap hit of $15.83MM, though, which has resulted in speculation he could be let go in a cost-cutting move. His recovery from a major knee injury is a factor in the Browns’ decision, but Chubb should be expected to remain with the organization.

The team will engage in preliminary discussions on a Chubb extension, Mary Kay Cabot of notes. Talks could commence as soon as the upcoming Combine, she adds, although both sides will no doubt await clarity on his rehab before entering into a multi-year agreement. The Browns expect the 28-year-old back at some point in 2024, and a new deal would ensure he remained in place as a focal point of the offense when healthy.

Given the signs pointing to Chubb being retained, Cabot unsurprisingly adds the Browns will not be in the market for a high-priced RB addition this offseason. A number of intriguing backs are set to hit the market, including Saquon Barkley, Derrick Henry, Josh JacobsAustin Ekeler and Tony Pollard. Rather than investing in one of them as Chubb insurance, though, Cleveland will lean on internal options. The Browns have Jerome Ford and Pierre Strong in place as candidates for a significant workload in Chubb’s absence if he misses the beginning of the campaign.

Both the Ravens and Texans have been connected to a running back pursuit this offseason, and they will have several choices given the number of backs set to be available. Another veteran in that category is Kareem Hunt, who has spent the past five seasons in Cleveland. Cabot confirms the Browns are not interested in another deal for the former Pro Bowler, though, meaning he could be in store for another lengthy wait on the open market.

The Browns are currently over the cap by a margin of nearly $20MM, though the team has a number of restructure candidates to carve out financial breathing space. Chubb could be one of them, but an extension would lower his 2024 cap hit while marking a sign of confidence from Cleveland that a full recovery is expected. It will be interesting to see how much urgency exists from team and player when talks begin.

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