BBC REPORT: Browns running backs: Cap hits, free agents and big decisions on Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt…..

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The quarterback position has been one of the Browns’ most consistent positions since Kevin Stefanski took over in 2020. He inherits a backroom that includes Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt that nearly won the title in a hurry in 2019.

He won the championship in his rookie season. The two have been a dynamic duo in the Browns offense, but now the Browns are entering an offseason where it feels like the camera is starting to turn. Chubb is trying to come back from injury and Hunt, who left a year ago, is a free agent again.

We continue our positional approach to Brown’s situation, starting with his contract and the big decisions ahead.Monday was the fourth. Today we move backwards, starting with what the Browns will do with one of their most beloved players.Browns general manager Andrew Berry said Monday he has no plans to move on from Chubb after a serious knee injury ended his season in Week 2.

“Nobody in Pittsburgh wants him to be the last player to catch the ball for the Cleveland Browns,” Berry said. “Surely we have to do something… Of course we will try to keep him in the team.”The issue isn’t the doubts about Chubb’s rebounding ability or his ability to rebound. If anyone can do it, it’s him. The problem is the contract. He costs about $16 million in cap space, which is enough for a healthy running back, and the Browns would save $11.825 million if he is released.Let’s not go there either. Chubb is more than just a guy on this team.

He is a beloved teammate and represents everything you want in a Browns player. Getting Chubb back in football is a top priority for the Browns.The question is how to do it. “We have work to do…” Berry said. “Obviously we will try to keep him in the team.”The Browns will have to find a way to restructure Chubb’s contract to keep him there this season and beyond. He should have done it at any time this offseason, but injuries and returns have added to the urgency to do so.

The Browns gave Ford a backup role last season, and after Chubb’s injury, he quickly assumed a starting role. He rushed for 813 yards and added 319 receiving yards. He’s shown a penchant for big plays with his speed in the open field (he had two catches for 69 yards and five for 20 yards), but there’s a boom-and-boom feel to his running.Ford was implicated in the murder.

Will he be a starter in his third year or is he better suited as a second baseman? Even if Chubb returns early in the season, Ford will still be able to get plenty of carries as the Browns try to be careful and not rush Chubb. The Browns usually have three or four running backs on their roster. Contractually, there may be room to add another veteran to the mix with Chubb, Ford and Strong.

The first name that comes to mind is Kareem Hunt, who returned to the lineup after Chubb’s injury and has shown renewed vitality and played well as a short-yardage breaking ball.Hunt seemed uncertain about his postseason future, and the Browns’ most likely path could be to draft another running back and then add someone who will compete for a roster spot once they add another veteran later in the spring. Could it be Hunt? may be. Whoever it is, I’d be surprised if the Browns made a significant investment in free agency here.

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