Yesterday afternoon the Cleveland Browns, labeled “America’s Team” by the public due to their success this recent year, have signed one of the most dominant and disputed running backs. Kareem Hunt has signed a contract with the team. Hunt was accused of beating a woman and after the report came out, the player was immediately released by the Kansas City Chiefs. This release even came before the accusation went to trial and the investigation went underway. Hunt was an effective running back in the NFL through his two years in the league.
Recruited out of Troy, the third round pick had a breakout year as a rookie. He is widely considered a top 10 running back in the league and arguably top 5. He will be a valuable asset for the Browns, even though they already have a very good young running back in Nick Chubb. There are few options the Browns can do with this signing as well.
First off the Browns can wait to see if the Kareem Hunt situation becomes clearer and from there move on with the respective procedure of getting him reps with the practice squad and what not. They also have the option of trading Nick Chubb and get significant value for him on the trade market. Chubb produced at a very high level once other back Carlos Hyde was traded to the Jaguars and Chubb ate his reps. Chubb was one of the best rookie backs last year with fellow competitors such as Saquon Barkley, Sony Michel, and Phillip Lindsay. The Browns can also platoon both explosive backs, similar to what the Saints do with former Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara and former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. The Browns have a lot of good options after this signing and I expect them to use Hunt and Chubb assuming that neither get moved.
Yes, the Browns will receive criticism for this and rightfully so, they signed a player to a contract who has had a very rough history with domestic violence and it is unsure how Hunt will even play through the debacle. The Browns will use them both to help Baker Mayfield’s passing game. The Browns haven’t had much success in recent memory and this could change by adding one of the most dynamic backs in the league. This is a high risk, high reward signing and I bet it pans out for Browns nation.