At a time when the Bears seemed to be flirting with the possibility of adding running back Kareem Hunt, another team has beaten them to it.
The Cleveland Browns have announced that Hunt has been signed to a contract.
Drafted by the Chiefs when John Dorsey served as the team’s G.M., the man who has served as Browns G.M. for the last year now brings Hunt to Cleveland.
“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.
“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.”
The NFL has not yet announced discipline on Hunt for multiple off-field incidents in 2018, including an assault of a female in Cleveland that was captured on video. The Chiefs abruptly cut Hunt after the video surfaced in November.
Hunt was placed on the Commissioner Exempt list before his release, and he’ll likely resume that status in Cleveland. Once his punishment is issued, Hunt presumably will be permitted to participate in offseason workouts, training camp, and preseason games before the commencement of the regular season and the suspension that likely will go along with it.