The Cleveland Browns plan to tender running back Kareem Hunt as they prepare for the start of free agency in March.
That is according to general manager Andrew Berry, who spoke on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
“We think Kareem’s a good football player. We like having good football players on our roster … We’ll explore every avenue to improve our roster.”
Berry would not reveal the team’s exact plans, but he has three tender options to place on Hunt (salary estimates via Over the Cap):
- First-round tender: One-year contract worth approximately $4.7 million. If Hunt receives and offer sheet from another team and the Browns do not match it, they would receive a first-round draft pick from Hunt’s new team.
- Second-round tender: One-year contract worth approximately $3.2 million. The Browns would receive a second-round draft pick if Hunt were to sign with another team.
- Original-round tender: One-year contract worth approximately $2.1 million. In this scenario, the Browns would receive a third-round pick if Hunt were to sign with a new team as that was the round he was originally selected.
While Hunt has said he expects to be with the Browns this fall, and the team seems amicable to that idea, Berry’s comment that the Browns will “explore every avenue to improve our roster” bears watching.
The Browns have the cap space to place a first-round tender on Hunt and, if he receives a better offer from another team, at least consider the benefit of letting him leave in exchange for another selection in the first round.
Hunt missed the first eight games of the 2019 season while serving an NFL-mandated suspension. While he was not the same explosive player as during his first two seasons in Kansas City, Hunt still finished last season averaging 4.2 yards per carry and 7.7 yards per reception, while scoring three touchdowns.
It still seems more than likely that the Browns will keep Hunt around for at least one more season. But if they play their cards right, they should have an opportunity to improve the roster no matter where Hunt plays this fall.