Browns rebound: Cleveland signs running back Kareem Hunt

Posted: 6:16 PM, Feb 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-11 18:16:49-05
Browns rebound: Cleveland signs running back Kareem Hunt

Kareem Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

BEREA, Ohio – Kareem Hunt will get a second chance in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns announced they’ve signed the running back.

In November, Hunt –  the NFL’s leading rusher in 2017, was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs after video surfaced of the running back shoving and kicking a woman during a February 2018 incident at a Cleveland hotel. The NFL has yet to finish the investigation into Hunt’s situation, however NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport previously reported Hunt faces a baseline six-game suspension.

Hunt is 5-11, 216 pounds and entering his third NFL season out of Toledo. Originally drafted by Kansas City in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft, it was current Browns general manager John Dorsey who served in the same role with Kansas City in 2017.

Hunt has appeared in 27 career games. He has rushed for 2,151 yards on 453 attempts (4.7 average) with 15 touchdowns, while adding 79 receptions for 833 yards with 10 touchdowns.

Kareem Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

As a rookie in 2017, Hunt led the NFL with 1,327 rushing yards en route to a Pro Bowl selection. He became just the sixth rookie since 1966 (Super Bowl era) to lead the league in rushing yards. Hunt also became the first player in NFL history to record six consecutive games with 100-plus scrimmage yards to start their rookie campaign. He appeared in 11 games in 2018 and registered 824 rushing yards, 378 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns. He was released by the Chiefs on Nov. 30. Hunt finished his collegiate career as Toledo’s all-time leading rusher with 4,945 yards, while scoring 44 rushing touchdowns. He attended Willoughby South High School in Willoughby, Ohio.

John Dorsey on signing free agent running back Kareem 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.”

Kareem Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

Kareem Hunt on signing a free agent contract with the Cleveland 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.”