HomeTrade RumorsKareem Hunt, Browns Running Back, to Explore Free Agency But Would Consider...

Kareem Hunt, Browns Running Back, to Explore Free Agency But Would Consider Returning

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The Browns were put in a terrible position when star running back Nick Chubb went down with multiple knee ligament tears only two weeks into the 2023 season, forcing the team to navigate 16 more weeks of football without him. Cleveland was fortunate that a former member of a formidable 1-2 punch with Chubb, Kareem Hunt, was available in free agency. While Hunt’s first couple of forays into free agency were not ideal situations, he will land on the market once again this offseason, this time on much better terms.

Hunt’s first bout with free agency had come less than a year after he led the NFL in rushing yards as a rookie with the Chiefs. Hunt was unceremoniously released by Kansas City amid the release of a videotape that showed him pushing a woman to the ground and kicking her after first being physically assaulted by the woman. He was never charged with any crime but was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list after signing a new deal with the Browns. He ended up serving an eight-game suspension as a result of the incident.

Hunt became a restricted free agent after that first season in Cleveland, eventually signing a two-year, $13.25MM contract extension. Just before the second year of the two-year deal, Hunt requested a trade from the Browns, unhappy with his contract situation. The Browns refused to honor his request, letting him play out the 2022 season on the final year of his contract. He was not re-signed this time and spent seven months in free agency.

After Chubb went out for the season, the Browns reached out, desiring Hunt’s familiarity with the team’s offense among a relatively inexperienced running backs room. Hunt would play out a one-year deal for the remainder of the season. With that season coming to an end yesterday in the Browns’ loss to the Texans, Hunt is once again destined for free agency.

This time, though, Hunt is looking forward to testing the open market. Despite not spending camp or the preseason with the team, Hunt delivered a strong contribution in 2023, scoring more rushing touchdowns this year (9) than he had in any other season of his career.

“I’m definitely going to test free agency and see what the right option is for me or what’s best for me and my family and everything,” Hunt told Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “But, for the most part, this is always home for me. It’s Cleveland until I die, so I’m going to have a special place in my heart for them.”

While it sounds like a goodbye letter to Cleveland, Hunt made sure to clarify that he isn’t “closing (any) doors.” He emphasized that he will “always consider being in Cleveland over anything,” but for now, he’ll test the free agent market and see if another franchise decides they need him more.

 

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