Cleveland Browns general manager will be facing a big decision in the coming months in regards to running back Nick Chubb.
Chubb is entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2021, and while there is a growing belief, backed up by some serious data, that teams should not pay big money to a running back, Berry will have to determine if Chubb should be the exception.
Berry got an idea of just what that second contract might look like on Sunday, when the news broke that the Green Bay Packers re-signed running back Aaron Jones to a four-year, $48 million contract that includes a $13 million signing bonus, according to NFL Network’s Insider Ian Rapoport:
While the fine print of the contract will likely reveal that the $48 million figure is for publicity purposes only, Jones’ deal does offer a framework for what Chubb can expect to receive on his second contract.
From a purely running back standard, Chubb is better than Jones. Thanks to the incompetence of then-head coach Hue Jackson, Chubb’s rookie year did not get going until Week 7. But Chubb still has more rushing yards than Jones - 3,557 to 3,364 - despite playing 10 fewer games, and both players average 5.2 yards per rush.
Jones begins to build some separation, however, when you add in what both players have accomplished in the passing game. Jones has almost doubled Chubb in receptions (131 to 72) and receiving yards (1,057 to 577), while having a clear advantage in receiving touchdowns (six to two).
That is not to diminish what Chubb has accomplished as a receiver, however, as his catch rate and average yards per catch are right on par with Jones, but rather to point out that the Packers simply choose to utilize Jones in the passing game more than the Browns do with Chubb.
If Chubb stays healthy this season, it would not be a surprise if he duplicated his 2019 season of 1,772 yards from scrimmage (a total that Jones has yet to match) and came close to his 12 rushing touchdowns in 2020.
If (when?) that happens, Chubb will certainly be in line for a deal similar to what Jones signed today with the Packers.
The only question is which team will be the one giving Chubb his new deal?