Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network offered details on the contract:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
The #Browns signed RB Kareem Hunt to a 1-year deal that could be worth more than $1M not factoring in the suspension, source said. More than the minimum. After this year, he’ll be an RFA.
General manager John Dorsey spoke about the decision to sign the Ohio native:
“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.”
Kansas City Chiefs @Chiefs
Statement from the Kansas City Chiefs on Kareem Hunt
➡️ https://t.co/MrjIX1Y7Ke https://t.co/efSMqUDio1
“I deeply regret what I did,” Hunt said in a statement. “I hope to move on from this.”
Prior to Hunt’s release, Rapoport reported he had been placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, pending the results of an investigation into the hotel altercation. Dorsey also noted the Browns are aware Hunt could be facing a suspension.
Until Hunt is reinstated from the exempt list, he will be unable to participate in practices, play in or attend games with his new team. The 23-year-old is subject to a suspension under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Rapoport said “a suspension is coming” for Hunt. He also noted the running back has met with NFL investigators.
Hunt released a statement after signing with the Browns, too:
“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.”
The Chiefs originally selected Hunt in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft out of Toledo. He proved to be a dynamic player, racking up 2,984 yards from scrimmage and 25 touchdowns in 27 games over the past two seasons.
Nonetheless, his signing in Cleveland comes as a bit of a surprise, as Nick Chubb was impressive as a rookie and Duke Johnson Jr. is a promising third-down back.
Running back didn’t appear to be an area of need for the Browns, but they addressed it nonetheless with their controversial signing of Hunt.