The Denver Broncos were certainly excited and dreaming of the impact that Bradley Chubb will provide since being drafted 5th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft out of North Caroline State.
The Broncos picked up Bradley Chubb’s fifth year option, which will pay him $12.7 million this upcoming season. Has he done enough to earn a contract extension or is this a “prove it” year?
Being paired with All-Pro and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, at the time, was going to be the talk of the AFC West for years to come. But fan-favorite and franchise beloved star Von Miller (sure-fire candidate to have his jersey retired by the team down the road), was traded to the LA Rams in November 2021, in exchange for a 2022 2nd and 3rd round picks.
The 2nd round pick was used to draft – LB Nik Bonitto from Oklahoma 64th overall, and the 3rd round pick received was eventually used in the Russell Wilson trade.
That left Chubb to be the focal primary pass-rusher that he was drafted to be, but he didn’t do so well. Several other Linebacker teammates did produce sacks and contribute, such as:
- Malik Reed – 24 solo tackles, 43 total tackles, three TFLs, eight QB Hits, and five sacks
- Jonathon Cooper– 22 solo tackles, 38 total tackles, four TFLs, seven QB Hits, and 2.5 sacks
- Alexander Johnson – 20 solo tackles, 32 total tackles, two TFLs, two QB Hits, and two sacks
- Stephen Weatherly – 8 solo tackles, 14 total tackles, five TFLs, seven QB Hits, and 2.5 sacks
*Stats calculated at the end of 2021 season
While there are certainly other Linebackers on the team that played and contributed, they did not produce any sacks. While the sack statistic is certainly not indicative to a Super Bowl win necessarily, it has been a statistic to show that you are impacting the offense (and the game) to an extent.
The focus is that Chubb has had opportunities to be the star pass-rusher and defensive impact – that would be expected from a top 5 pick. Injuries have certainly played a factor in his availability, which can have an effect and bearing on the statistical outputs. But when he is healthy, he definitely produces.
The 2021 season was the first time in his young career, that he did not produce a sack, and only playing in 7 games.
- 2018 – 16 games, 41 solo tackles, 60 total tackles, 14 TFLs, 21 QB Hits, one pass defended, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and 12 sacks.
- 2019 – four games, 16 solo tackles, 21 total tackles, five TFLs, six QB Hits, one pass defended, one forced fumble, and one sack.
- 2020 – 14 games, 26 solo tackles, 42 total tackles, nine TFLs, 19 QB Hits, one forced fumble, and 7.5 sacks. Pro Bowl selection
- 2021 – 7 games, nine solo tackles, 21 total tackles, one TFL, four QB Hits, two passes defended, and one interception.
Now that the stats are providing context, the next question becomes…
Bradley Chubb contract extension – Yea or Nay
The quick and easy answer is – yes they should. Why? Because he is now the “Von Miller” of the defense, the subsequent leader and an expected Defensive Player of the Year candidate that wills the defense to impact the game in favor of the Broncos.
However, it is a little more complicated than that – given injury history, should this risk outweigh the financial commitment? If the Denver Broncos and Bradley Chubb do become tied together (money-wise) and the injuries start again and missing games becomes a pattern, the growing sentiment will be “they are paying all that money and not receiving anything in return”.
Also, will the stats come down as a result of the new contract? Maybe and maybe not. Athletes tend to perform to the best of their ability, no matter the situation. Obviously, there are exceptions to the statement and situations that have disproven the statement as well, but for the most part – passion and the drive to be great, are the motivators.
Could a team that needs a pass rusher swoop in and give Chubb all the money that he wants? Yes.
Will the Broncos be forced to “go again” – i.e. draft a prospect, develop him, and then go through the motions again when contract talks begin? Yes.
That is the vicious cycle that all teams endure unfortunately. Some teams have done the cycle more often then others, but that is also a reality that GMs and the front office face on a daily basis.
The Denver Broncos and Bradley Chubb could negotiate and hash out a contract that benefits both parties.
We can “guesstimate” what the extension will sort of look like:
Be within the 4 to 5 year range and certainly give above $28 million in full guarantees. The Broncos will want to be around the $85 to $90 million value of the contract.
This will signal that Denver values Chubb and they want to keep him, by giving him above market value (compared to at least middle-tier pass rushers).
Of course, this is all dependant on Chubb’s production and output this season. If he does not demonstrate durability and can yield some amazing stats this coming season, the Broncos will move on.
Like Von Miller, I celebrated when the Bradley Chubb pick was announed. I want #55 to stay around.
Von Miller approves the pick 👏 pic.twitter.com/L6Cpjyj6Jr
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) April 27, 2018
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