While a lot of fans only worry about adding talent, the Cleveland Browns have a lot of guys to think about retaining. Chris Hubbard is one of those guys.
History: Not only will the Cleveland Browns be looking to add new talent to their roster in 2022 via free agency, but they also have a number of guys that will be out of contract. One of those guys who is certainly on the fence of wanting to retain is Chris Hubbard.
Hubbard came to the Browns in 2018 after playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers the first four years of his career. In his first three seasons with the Browns, Hubbard was the starting right tackle and had 39 starts.
Unfortunately, many of those starts weren’t great, as he really struggles with the speed pass rush. I would argue that T.J. Watt single-handedly lost Hubbard his job after 2019.
However, Hubbard has been as team-friendly of a guy as I can ever remember. Not only did he take a backup role in 2020, but he also renegotiated his contract for less money to stay on the team. He went from a below-average starting tackle to one of the best sixth men in the league.
Hubbard could play tackle or guard, and when someone got hurt, he stepped right in.
Production: The issue with Hubbard hasn’t necessarily been performance (as a backup), but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy the last two years and has faced season-ending injuries in both 2020 and 2021. Hubbard will only be 30 this year, but it’s hard to tell what his body has left.
Path Forward: If the medical staff is confident, he is fully healed, I’m all for the Browns trying to bring him back. You can truly never have enough good offensive lineman. But, with Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin already coming off a season with multiple injuries, do we really need a third guy with a history of injuries?
The good news for the Browns is there likely won’t be a big market for Hubbard, and he has shown he is loyal already. If the medical checks out, the Browns should try and keep Hubbard for another year at a very reasonable price.