Kareem Hunt gets another chance, signs with Browns

WEEI
February 11, 2019 - 2:39 pm
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Kareem Hunt is getting another chance. The Cleveland Browns announced Monday that they have signed the former Kansas City Chiefs running back, who was released on Nov. 30 after video surfaced of him pushing and kicking a woman during an altercation.

Hunt led the NFL in rushing yards as a rookie in 2017 with 1,327 and was up to 824 yards rushing (plus 378 receiving) through 11 games this season before getting cut. According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, his deal with the Browns is for one year and more than $1 million.

Hunt is expected to be suspended by the NFL at some point, although it's still unclear how long that suspension will be. Rapoport adds that Hunt has been going to alcohol and anger management counceling and will continue to do so.

It's worth noting that Browns general manager John Dorsey was the Chiefs' GM when they drafted Hunt in 2017. Still, it seems like an odd move given that the Browns are far from desperate at the running back position. Nick Chubb is coming off a strong rookie season in which he rushed for 996 yards and eight touchdowns and averaged 5.2 yards per carry after taking over as the team's starter.

Here are statements from Dorsey and Hunt on the signing:

John Dorsey

"My relationship and interaction with Kareem since 2016 in college was an important part of this decision making process but we then did extensive due diligence with many individuals, including clinical professionals, to have a better understanding of the person he is today and whether it was prudent to sign him. There were two important factors: one is that Kareem took full responsibility for his egregious actions and showed true remorse and secondly, just as importantly, he is undergoing and is committed to necessary professional treatment and a plan that has been clearly laid out.

"We fully understand and respect the complexity of questions and issues in signing a player with Kareem’s history and do not condone his actions. Given what we know about Kareem through our extensive research, we believe he deserves a second chance but certainly with the understanding that he has to go through critical and essential steps to become a performing member of this organization, aside from what the NFL determines from their ongoing investigation. We fully understand that Kareem is subject to discipline by the NFL. Here at the Browns, there is a detailed plan with expectations laid out that he understands and must follow, because any similar incident will not be tolerated. We will support Kareem through this process and utilize our resources, however permitted, to help him become successful on and off the field as long as he continues to show the commitment necessary to represent this organization."

Kareem Hunt

"First off, I would like to once again apologize for my actions last year. What I did was wrong and inexcusable. That is not the man I was raised to be, and I’ve learned a great deal from that experience and certainly should have been more truthful about it after the fact. I’m extremely grateful that John Dorsey, Dee and Jimmy Haslam and the Cleveland Browns organization are granting me the opportunity to earn their trust and represent their organization in the best way possible on and off the field. I am committed to following the necessary steps to learn and to be a better and healthier person from this situation. I also understand the expectations that the Browns have clearly laid out and that I have to earn my way back to the NFL. I’m a work in progress as a person, but I’m committed to taking advantage of the support systems that I have in place to become the best and healthier version of myself."

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