Roughly a few hours after his life changed forever, Nick Chubb just wanted to practice.
Chubb on Monday signed a three-year extension that will keep him in Cleveland through the 2024 season. It was a landmark moment in the career of the two-time Pro Bowl running back, whose selfless, no-nonsense approach endeared himself to his teammates, coaches and fans alike.
Not that anyone expected anything otherwise, Chubb showed he hadn't changed a bit when he had his first opportunity to discuss the extension. He just wanted another shot at getting ready for his fourth NFL season.
"I am relieved it is behind us now," Chubb said. "Just coming out here ready to practice. I know all of that has been handled. It is taken care of. I am very happy where I am. I get to come out here and focus on getting better every day."
Even when there wasn't a practice awaiting him, Chubb wasn't up for much in the way of a celebration. When he and the team agreed to terms after Saturday's practice, Chubb said he simply went home and called it a night.
There wasn't an official celebration Monday, either — "I wasn't invited if there was one," Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. — but players found a way to pry a smile or two out of the typically stone-faced running back.
Kareem Hunt, who fully admits he enjoys talking and laughing it up more than Chubb, has been in his teammate's ear ever since the news broke of a potential extension. He's one of many teammates who celebrated the news in a way that showed how much respect Chubb has generated in his three seasons with the Browns.
"Kareem said, 'Wagyu steaks on me.' That is all he keeps saying," Chubb said. "I know he is excited. I am excited to get out there and for me and him to get that going like we have been."
Nick Chubb, a two-time Pro Bowler who has already established himself as one of the best running backs in team history and has been among the league's best at the position over the past three years, signed a three-year extension that runs through the 2024 season.
The contract talk is behind Chubb, and another season of big expectations for him, Hunt and a Browns running attack that was among the NFL's most dangerous in 2020 awaits. And there's plenty of reason to believe it can be even better considering it will be the second full season of Chubb and Hunt working together out of the backfield with a coaching staff that knows them well and a fully returning offensive line that, when healthy, proved to be among the best in the NFL.
Chubb, in particular, has reason to believe he'll be able to produce at a higher level after missing the first four games of his NFL career during the first half of last season. Still, despite playing just 11 full games, Chubb led the Browns in 2020 with 1,067 yards and 12 touchdowns, becoming the first player since Mercury Morris in 1972 to rush for more than 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns on 190 or fewer attempts. With 28 career touchdowns, Chubb already ranks seventh in Browns' history. He's sixth with 3,557 yards.
Perhaps most impressively, Chubb averaged a whopping 10 yards per carry in the fourth quarter of games last season. Most of those carries — including an unforgettable, breakaway run against the Texans in which he purposely went out of bounds at the 1-yard line to ice the game — came at the end of victories.
Those, to Chubb, were the most satisfying moments and are what he's most looking forward to in 2021 and beyond. Everything else — contract extension included — is already long in the rearview mirror.
"The next step is just getting better," Chubb said. "Building off of last year with the momentum we have and continue to grow team chemistry and putting everything in place so we can go out there and become an even better team.
"I love it here in Cleveland. I love this team. I love the coaches. I love the position that I am in. I can't ask for anything better than where I am. Cleveland is where I want to be. I am happy to be able to get that done so I can be here for even more years."