The Cleveland Browns have agreed to terms with offensive tackle Chris Hubbard, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The deal is expected to be a five year deal, worth $37.5 million, with $18 million guaranteed.
Hubbard has spent four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was signed by Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent following the 2013 NFL Draft.
Hubbard played in all 16 games with the Steelers last season, starting in ten of those games. He played primarily right tackle for the Steelers, which is where he will likely play for the Browns. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 40th overall offensive tackle out of 81 qualifiers in 2017.
Hubbard has played in 40 games over the course of his four-year career. The 26-year-old tackle has started 14 games, all in the last two years.
Hubbard will likely be the replacement for the incumbent right tackle Shon Coleman. Coleman struggled in 2017, and was very inconsistent with his play. Hubbard also played under Todd Haley in Pittsburgh, who may have been the deciding factor in offering Hubbard a contract.
The offensive tackle free agency class was rather weak this offseason. Haley’s experience with Hubbard may have made John Dorsey comfortable offering a long-term contract to Hubbard.
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The move does not mean the Browns have knowledge about a Joe Thomas decision. Hubbard has only played at right tackle and guard in the NFL. If Cleveland knew that Thomas was retiring, they would likely have signed a player with experience at left tackle to take over for Thomas.
NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala said on Tuesday that the Browns expect an answer from Thomas on Wednesday.
Following the signing of Hubbard, four of the five Cleveland starting offensive linemen will have received new contracts in the past two years.