ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — General Manager George Paton made several tough choices on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Broncos' move to exercise linebacker Bradley Chubb's fifth-year option was not one of them.
"That was one of the easier decisions I had today, I know that," Paton said Friday. "That was really easy. Bradley, we hope he's going to be here a long time. He's one of our core players on our football team. That was a very easy decision."
Chubb, who is entering his fourth season in the NFL, is now under contract with the Broncos through the 2022 season.
He rebounded from a partially torn ACL that he suffered in 2019 to post 7.5 sacks and earn a Pro Bowl berth in 2020. Chubb's 20.5 sacks are the third-most in franchise history through the first 34 games of a player's career.
Head Coach Vic Fangio believes the best is yet to come for the former fifth-overall pick.
"We're expecting Bradley to probably have his best season that he's had in pro football thus far," Fangio said. "Last year, coming off the injury was a lot to deal with. He wasn't truly himself until some point midway through the season, but he was still playing good. And then he got knocked up there a little bit at the end — nothing serious. I think he should have a really good season for us this year."
A career-best year for Chubb could result in both another Pro Bowl and Defensive Player of the Year consideration. In 2018, Chubb set a franchise rookie record with 12 sacks. If he betters that total by any significant margin, he would likely challenge for the NFL lead in 2021.