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Chuba Hubbard, Panthers Agree to Contract After Matt Rhule's Wife Pushed to Draft RB

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 6, 2021

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 26:  Running back Chuba Hubbard #30 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys pciks up 16-yards before getting tripped up by cornerback Alonzo Addae #4 of the West Virginia Mountaineers on a third down in the third quarter on September 26, 2020 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  Hubbard had 101 yards rushing as OSU won 27-13. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers agreed to a contract with fourth-round draft pick Chuba Hubbard, the first of the team's 2021 draft selections to hammer out his rookie deal.

Hubbard ran for 3,459 yards and 33 touchdowns in three seasons at Oklahoma State. 

The former Cowboys star had a strong advocate within Carolina's organization, Julie Rhule. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule revealed his wife had texted him shortly before Carolina made the pick telling him to get Hubbard:

Carolina Panthers @Panthers

Count another offensive pick for 2021 βœ…<br><br>Listen in on the @Hubbard_RMN call πŸ“ž pic.twitter.com/TTos7iTHhu

Hubbard joins a backfield that already includes Christian McCaffrey. After McCaffrey was limited to three games because of ankle and shoulder issues, though, it made sense for the Panthers to strengthen their depth in the backfield.

Hubbard and McCaffrey should be solid complements for one another as well. Whereas McCaffrey's abilities as a pass-catcher helped him secure a four-year, $64.1 million extension, Hubbard didn't distinguish himself as a dynamic receiver in college. He caught 53 passes for 479 yards and three scores.

In the final big board for the B/R NFL Scouting Department, Hubbard was the No. 12 running back and received a 6.85 overall grade, which equates to a career backup or rotational option. B/R's Brent Sobleski gave the Panthers a B grade for nabbing the 21-year-old Canadian.

Bleacher Report CFB @BR_CFB

Chuba too fast ⚑️<br><br>(via @CFBONFOX)pic.twitter.com/CtuHUPJTb3

When it comes to the first contracts for incoming draftees, there's little negotiation to be done because the collective bargaining agreement outlines the broad terms. Per Spotrac, Hubbard is projected to receive a $713,174 signing bonus and nearly $4.2 million total from Carolina.