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Kareem Hunt to Browns: Why the Browns are giving the troubled running back a second chance

Kareem Hunt to Browns
Kareem Hunt, who is headed to the Cleveland Browns, talking about the TMZ video that came out about him. Pic credit: ESPN/YouTube

In some shocking news, Kareem Hunt is heading to the Cleveland Browns as an NFL free agent.

This comes mere months after the NFL suspended him when video surfaced of him shoving and kicking a woman.

The Kareem Hunt suspension

Hunt was a superstar with the Kansas City Chiefs as they raced to the playoffs with the best record in the AFC. However, when the video surfaced of the abuse allegations, the Chiefs immediately waived him from their team.

No one touched Hunt, as the NFL placed him on the Commissioner Exempt List, which means that he can’t play even if a team signs him until the NFL finishes their internal investigation and decide on his final punishment.

ESPN reported that the investigation is “still ongoing and nowhere near done.”

There is a real possibility that Kareem Hunt will not play in the 2019 NFL season despite signing with the Cleveland Browns.

In 2014, the NFL suspended Adrian Peterson for two months for hitting his child with a switch as punishment. In 2017, the NFL suspended Ezekiel Elliott for six games for reported domestic dispute allegations despite a police report never being filed.

In 2014, the NFL suspended Ray Rice when video surfaced of him attacking a woman in a hotel. Rice never played another game in the NFL.

Kareem Hunt is only 23 years old and looked to have a bright future in the NFL. In his rookie season of 2017, he ran for 1,327 yards and caught 53 passes for another 455 yards, while scoring 11 touchdowns. Before his suspension in 2018, he ran for 824 yards and seven touchdowns in just 11 games.

Kareem Hunt to Browns

The question now arises — why Kareem Hunt to the Browns? This is not just puzzling because of the possible suspension.

The Cleveland Browns have a great young running back named Nick Chubb. He was a 2018 NFL Draft pick and Cleveland liked him so much that they traded their starter Carlos Hyde midway through the season.

By the end of the year, Chubb had run for 996 yards while only starting 10 of the 16 games he played. His 5.2 yards-per-carry are actually higher than Hunt’s numbers.

The Browns have been the laughing stock of the NFL for years but when Baker Mayfield showed up in 2018, he did something special. He gave Cleveland hope. He led the Browns to five wins in their last seven games and the team finished 7-8-1.

That is a marked improvement from the three previous years where they won a total of four games, even finishing 2017 with a single win.

Kareem Hunt to the Browns is a risk, bringing in a player with known issues and a possible upcoming suspension to a young team that already has a great young running back and needs to learn how to win consistently.

“There were two important factors,” Browns’ general manager John Dorsey said. “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.”

Dorsey also said that any similar incidents will not be tolerated. In 2018, the team gave Josh Gordon another chance after a lengthy suspension and then traded him midway through the season when he broke their trust again.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more

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