The Cleveland Browns have one of the top young running backs in the NFL in reigning Pro Bowler Nick Chubb, but they spent the days ahead of their 2020 season opener locking up the man behind him on the depth chart. As reported by ESPN and NFL Network, the Browns on Tuesday signed No. 2 RB Kareem Hunt to a two-year contract extension, tying the former Kansas City Chiefs star to Cleveland through the 2022 campaign.

Hunt’s two-year extension is worth $13.25 million, per NFL Network, with $8.5 million guaranteed. Originally signed by the Browns prior to the 2019 season, the 25-year-old was set to become an unrestricted free agent after 2020. Now, he’ll earn a total of $16.5 million over the next three years, making him the 12th-highest-paid RB in the league at an average annual salary of $5.5 million.

More importantly, Hunt’s new deal signals an increased role for the fourth-year back under new coach Kevin Stefanski. A Pro Bowl play-maker for the Chiefs as a rookie, Hunt was limited to eight games during his 2019 Browns debut following a suspension to start the season, but upon taking the field as Chubb’s No. 2, he quickly began accumulating a combined 80 touches as both a runner and receiver, finishing the year with more than 460 yards from scrimmage.

Chubb remains penciled in as Cleveland’s workhorse at RB, but it’s increasingly clear that Hunt, who also partook in wide receiver meetings for the Browns this offseason, will be a featured part of the offense.

“It is exciting for sure,” Chubb said of Hunt in August. “Because he can do so many different things. It doesn’t have to be him running the ball. It can be catching it out of the slot … I think we have a lot of guys on this team and a lot of play-makers, and you can’t go wrong with who has the ball. Pick your poison.”

From a fantasy football perspective, of course, Hunt’s new deal could have mixed results, particularly for Chubb owners.

“While it’s great for (Kareem Hunt) that he got a two-year extension to stay in Cleveland, it isn’t exactly great for his Dynasty value … or Nick Chubb’s, for that matter,” says CBS Sports fantasy analyst Heath Cummings. “I believe Hunt and Chubb are both top-12 talents at running back, but talent is only part of the equation, and this contract appears to lock in a committee for the foreseeable future. If things work how the Browns want them to, both running backs could be Fantasy options that rank between 10th and 15th at running back, but that’s going to require a good defense, a good offensive line, and a lot of touchdowns between the two of them.

“If anything,” Cummings continues, “this deal makes me think the Browns are serious when they talk about splitting the work more evenly between their running backs, which is great at Hunt’s ADP but not so much for Chubb.”

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