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Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey has rolled the dice and signed RB Kareem Hunt. For the past two seasons, Hunt has basically been the best running back in the NFL. This past season, he had 14 all-purpose touchdowns with the Kansas City Chiefs in 11 games, but was released after video evidence emerged of an altercation that occurred in February 2018 (ironically, in Downtown Cleveland).
Now, Hunt joins a Browns backfield that already features RB Nick Chubb and RB Duke Johnson. As a rookie last year, Chubb took over as the starter part-way through the season, finishing with 192 carries for 996 yards (5.2 YPC) and 8 touchdowns. Johnson is one of the most talented receiving backs in the NFL. As it stands right now, there is no team in the NFL with more talented running backs than the Browns have.
Statement by John Dorsey on Signing Hunt
“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.”
Statement by Kareem Hunt Signing With the Browns
“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.”
What Happens Next?
The expectation is that Hunt will be suspended for at least the first 4-6 weeks of the season, but nothing has been officially handed down yet. Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network, Hunt will immediately go on the Commissioner’s exempt list:
League spokesman on new Browns RB Kareem Hunt: “There’s an ongoing investigation, and the team understands he's subject to league discipline.” Now that he’s signed, Hunt will go on the commissioner's exempt list.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 11, 2019
Hunt is from the area, and was also drafted by Dorsey when he was with the Chiefs. People will wonder if this gives the Browns such a surplus at the position that they will try to execute a trade involving Johnson.
What do you think of the Browns signing Hunt?
What do you think of the Browns signing RB Kareem Hunt?
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