2. Chris Hubbard, Offensive Tackle
In 2018, the Cleveland Browns signed former Pittsburgh Steelers swing tackle Chris Hubbard to play right tackle for them. It was seen as a wise move since Hubbard had some success with the Steelers while working with offensive coordinator Todd Haley — who was in Cleveland that season with the same title.
However, Haley was lost after eight games as he and head coach Hue Jackson both lost their public power struggle which changed the way the offensive line was asked to block. At first, this was great for Hubbard as he was struggling in the first eight games of the season, as was the entire line. Then when Gregg Williams became interim coach, things improved and they were rock solid for the second half of the season.
This gave them some hope that Hubbard and the line would be fine in 2019 but they weren’t. Their blocking was a disaster and there was plenty of expectation that Hubbard could be released when the season ended. To his credit, he understood he wasn’t as good as he needed to be and he agreed to a pay cut — likely understanding a reduced salary with the Browns was better than what he could get in free agency.
Even with the lower salary, there’s no guarantee Hubbard is on this team in 2020. Kendall Lamm is arguably a better swing tackle and there’s an awful lot to like about South Carolina State’s Alex Taylor who was signed as an undrafted free agent.
Should Taylor prove to be worth developing, there’s a chance Cleveland keeps him on the roster rather than risking him on waivers, which they would need to do in order to get him on the practice squad. For that reason, Hubbard could be in danger in 2020.