Cleveland Browns decided to take a gamble and sign problematic running back Kareem Hunt, who was a free agent since being released by Kansas City Chiefs back in December. According to ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, Browns gave Hunt a one-year deal, after which he will become a restricted free agent.
Cleveland signing Hunt doesn’t mean that we will see him in their jersey when 2019 season kicks off. The 23-year-old is still on the commissioner’s exempt list, and he is not allowed to play football until NFL finishes an investigation about his controversial off the field behavior.
While it appeared that Kareem Hunt is unlikely to play in NFL again, Browns’ general manager John Dorsey decided to give him another chance. Dorsey was the one who drafted Hunt in the third round of 2017 NFL Draft while acting as Chiefs’ GM.
“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,” Dorsey said in a statement. “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.”
Hunt also issued a statement, apologizing for his previous actions and thanking Browns and their management for the opportunity.
“First off, I would like to once again apologize for my actions last year. What I did was wrong and inexcusable.” – Hunt said. “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,”
Kareem Hunt had a tremendous rookie season, rushing for 1,327 yards and eight touchdowns while also adding 455 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He was named to Pro Bowl in 2017 while becoming only the sixth rookie in the history of the NFL to lead the league in rushing.