5 moves the Browns can make to free up $71 million in cap space

The Cleveland Browns have more room than it seems when it comes to the salary cap

Cleveland Browns, Nick Chubb
Cleveland Browns, Nick Chubb / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Extend Nick Chubb ($8.5 million)

The debate has been intense this offseason. Coming off a torn ACL and MCL in the same left knee that he tore in college back in 2015, Nick Chubb is set to make nearly $16 million this year. He's not expected to be ready by Week 1 after needing two separate surgeries — due to having two torn ligaments — and will be 29 in December.

Chubb has also been given a lot of touches in his career. He's carried the ball 1,238 times in the regular season and has another 123 receptions. Anyone who watches the sport knows running backs at that age and with that type of volume aren't a safe bet.

Throw in the fact that this is one of the most analytic-based front offices in the league and the speculation has run rampant. Some think Andrew Berry will try and release Chubb if he doesn't take a pay cut.

Then, there are fans on the other end of the spectrum. They believe since he's one of the hardest workers in the game he won't be impacted by time and usage — or a torn knee — the way other backs have. Those fans think the idea of Chubb being cut is ludicrous.

In the end, the two sides will likely come to an agreement. Chubb knows he doesn't have much leverage but the Browns won't play hardball with him. Instead, look for them to try and extend him for another couple of years without adding any guaranteed money — or very little at a minimum. That could free up an estimated $8.5 million, which is more than half of his cap number. That gives Chubb the chance to come back while also protecting the team as well.