Browns GM, RB Nick Chubb to huddle, talk contract

INDIANAPOLIS -- Armchair general managers appear to be off the mark projecting a Browns offense without running back Nick Chubb in 2024.Entering the final year of a three-year contract with Clevela

Browns GM, RB Nick Chubb to huddle, talk contract

INDIANAPOLIS — Armchair general managers appear to be off the mark projecting a Browns offense without running back Nick Chubb in 2024.

Entering the final year of a three-year contract with Cleveland, Chubb’s base salary of $11.8 million pushes his cap hit for next season over $15 million. That’s a hefty amount for a running back in the NFL, not to mention one in the middle of the rehabilitation phase of his recovery from a season-ending, multiple-ligament replacement knee surgery.

“Yeah, he’s done a great job,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said of Chubb’s rehab. “You guys know Nick — he works his tail off. He does everything in his power to make sure that he can recover as quickly as possible. It still is very early and we’re what, six months away from training camp? So to say anything more definitively than I did in the middle of January, it would probably be inaccurate.”

Releasing Chubb, 28, would save the Browns $11.83 million, but a greater savings could be available through a restructure laden with incentives. But that’s only possible if Chubb agrees to the altered deal.

He had 170 yards on 28 carries in 2023. The four-time Pro Bowl selection topped 1,000 rushing yards in each of the past four seasons, gaining a career-high 1,525 in 2022. Chubb had 996 yards as a rookie in 2018 before beginning his streak of 1,000-yard seasons.

A meeting is set with Chubb’s agents to find a middle ground. But Berry didn’t want to set any odds on the Browns getting a restructured contract done.

“I understand that Nick is a popular discussion point. I meant what I said about him at the end of the season,” Berry said. “Any conversations that we have with him or his reps honestly will stay between us. If anything were to change with the status, you guys would be the first to know when that does happen.”

But if Berry is hoping to get a hometown discount, he might’ve overplayed his cards Tuesday when discussing the rollercoaster running game without him.

“Obviously Nick’s one in a million, and maybe he is one in a billion actually, and so we’re not going to get the consistent explosive runs that you get with the best back in football,” Berry said.

The rehab room has been popular at the Browns’ headquarters in Berea, Ohio with three offensive tackles returning from season-ending injuries and quarterback Deshaun Watson working his way back from shoulder surgery.

“Deshaun will begin throwing next month. He’s worked his tail off in terms of his rehab and recovery. He’s in a really good place,” Berry said. “We’re excited when the spring hits and we can get him back on the field.”