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Contract biggest issue for Kareem Hunt with Browns, limiting trade options reportedly

Hunt wanted a new contract this offseason which, reportedly, impacted feelings toward team, trade options

Syndication: The Enquirer Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cleveland Browns are hoping that their bye week not only helps them get some of their important players back healthy but also reenergizes the team for the stretch run. A huge victory on Monday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals has kept them from falling out of contention despite their 3-5 record.

With the NFL trade deadline having come and gone, RB Kareem Hunt is still with the team. Hunt has had a difficult year with the Browns. He talked about wanting to be with the team forever, sought a new contract during training camp and demanded a trade. In the end, Hunt is in the same spot with the same contract.

According to a report, contract negotiations between the player and the team soured things for the running back.

Hunt is one of the highest-paid backup running backs in the league. He has the 15th-highest yearly average salary at his position. With starter Nick Chubb tied for sixth highest yearly average, there is not room to give Hunt a top 10-level contract.

According to another report, a contract at that level is what Hunt believes he is owed and is part of the reason teams weren’t willing to make a deal for him:

Hunt is now set to hit the free agent market when the season ends, along with fellow Cleveland running back D’Ernest Johnson. With Chubb in place and having drafted Jerome Ford this year, it will be interesting to see what the Browns do at running back in the offseason.

Will Hunt get the sort of contract he seems to want? If he doesn’t, would he be willing to return to Cleveland at a lower rate? Is that bridge burned for good over these contract negotiations?

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A lot to watch after the season but, for now, both sides need each other to reach their goals.

Do you think Hunt is worth top 10 money? Would you give it to him in Cleveland?