The NFL’s investigation into Kareem Hunt’s off-the-field incidents hasn’t come to a conclusion yet, but the free agent running back has a new home.
Hunt has signed with the Cleveland Browns, where he will join a team on the rise led by quarterback Baker Mayfield and be reunited with GM John Dorsey, who drafted Hunt in Kansas City. Dorsey and Hunt released statements following the announcement of the signing, which you can read below:
Statement from RB Kareem Hunt: pic.twitter.com/JPRFnkRdCy
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) February 11, 2019
In February 2018, Hunt faced allegations of shoving and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel. Hours after TMZ obtained and published footage of the incident in late November, 2018 (which you can see here) the Chiefs placed Hunt on waivers. And despite the potentially lengthy suspension that Hunt could face when the investigations to his off-field incidents come to an end, reports surfaced in January that multiple teams were “keeping tabs,” “touching base,” and “doing homework” on Hunt. Because Hunt was already a free agent, he was eligible to sign a contract before free agency opened up on March 13. It’s a bit of a surprise to see a team sign Hunt before knowing the details of his suspension, but the expectation is that it won’t be a year-long suspension and Hunt will return to the playing field at some point during the 2019 season.
The Bears avoided straight-forward answers when asked about signing Hunt. And while the team didn’t rule out signing Hunt when given an opportunity to do so, GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy never seemed to be too far down the road on a possible signing when addressing Hunt-related questions in mid-January. Days later, Chairman George McCaskey followed Pace’s lead in not being “there” when he fielded questions regarding the team’s interest in Hunt. Now, Hunt is off to Cleveland and the Bears’ search to round out their running back rotation moves on elsewhere.