The Cleveland Browns announced Monday that they’ve signed RB Kareem Hunt to a contract.
- According to Ian Rapoport, the Browns have signed Hunt to a one-year contract that can be worth over $1 million, not factoring in a suspension.
- Rapoport adds that Hunt has received done alcohol and anger management counseling since being released by the Chiefs and has met with the NFL regarding his off-the-field incidents.
- A source close to the situation tells Dan Graziano of the Browns signing Hunt: “Discipline process still ongoing and nowhere near done.”
- Albert Breer spoke with a league spokesman who said of the move: “There’s an ongoing investigation, and the team understands he’s subject to league discipline.”
Here’s the statement from Browns GM John Dorsey regarding the decision to sign 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.”
Hunt also issued a statement:
“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.”
Hunt will be added to the commissioner’s exempt list and a suspension while the NFL continues their investigation into three separate off-the-field incidents involving Hunt last year.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters a few weeks ago that he’s hopeful the league’s investigation into Hunt will be wrapped up soon.
“Kareem Hunt I think everyone knows that he is, that issue is under investigation, has been,” Goodell said, via NFL.com. “He is a free agent. If he is signed by a club, the clubs understand he’ll go on the Commissioner’s Exempt List at that point in time until the discipline process has concluded whether there is discipline or not discipline we will finish the investigation and then make a determination. So that hopefully will happen soon, but we haven’t concluded the investigation and we’re working to do that. There has been a tremendous amount of progress though in that investigation over the last I’d say 30 to 60 days.
Hunt, 23, is a former third-round pick of the Chiefs back in 2017. He was in the second year of his four-year, $3.263-million contract and set to make base salaries of $555,000 and $645,000 over the next two years of the agreement when the Chiefs waived him in December.
In 2018, Hunt has appeared in 11 games for the Chiefs and rushed for 824 yards on 181 carries (4.6 YPC) to go along with 26 receptions for 378 yards receiving and 14 total touchdowns.
We had him featured in our Top 100 – 2019 NFL Free Agents list.