Sam Hubbard will look to continue what’s already been a promising football career in Ohio when he suits up for the Bengals this fall.
Hubbard, who played collegiately with the Ohio State Buckeyes, was regarded as one of the best defensive ends in the 2018 NFL Draft. Weighing in at 6’5”, 265 pounds, Hubbard first earned a starting role in 2016, when he had 46 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two pass breakups.
Last season, Hubbard racked up 42 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles. His best game of the year was a 2.5-sack, 3.5-tackle-for-loss performance against USC in the Rose Bowl.
For his career, Hubbard totaled 116 career tackles, including 29.5 for losses and 17 sacks, with one interception, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
All of this had Hubbard projected to go in Round 2 of many mock drafts, but the Bengals were able to scoop him up early in Round 3. He has since signed his first NFL contract, a four-year deal worth up to $3,389,200, including a $696,900 signing bonus.
In 2018, Hubbard will have a modest cap hit of $480,000, but that number jumps to $802,300 in 2019. If the Bengals were to cut Hubbard this year, they could save just $216,900 while still owing him $696,900, though it’s highly unlikely that happens.
Here is a look at Hubbard’s contract, courtesy of Over The Cap:
Looking ahead, Hubbard has already drawn prasie from head coach Marvin Lewis, who indicated the rookie could play early and often in 2018. That’s great to say, but Hubbard will have to take away snaps from guys like Carlos Dunlap, Carl Lawson, Michael Johnson and Jordan Willis to get on the field as a rookie.
While Hubbard should play, we probably should not expect much of him as a rookie. However, Dunlap and Johnson are both slated to be free agents in 2019, so it’s possible Hubbard gets thrust into a starting role as soon as next year.