Kareem Hunt Gets Contract From His Hometown Browns
The Cleveland Browns have signed Kareem Hunt, the star running back who was released by the Kansas City Chiefs in November after video emerged of him pushing a woman and kicking her.
Hunt has apologized for his actions and faces no criminal charges. The videotaped incident occurred at a hotel in Cleveland, his hometown. In the video, Hunt pushes the victim, a 19-year-old woman, before being held back by other men. He then breaks free, and the woman falls down in the chaos. Hunt then kicks her.
The N.F.L. suspended him after a video of the incident was released and is investigating the matter. Ultimately, Hunt was not charged with a crime. During an interview with Hunt last year, the N.F.L. asked him only about a separate assault at a Lake Erie resort and did not discuss the February altercation with the woman.
After the video was released by TMZ, the Chiefs said that Hunt had been untruthful in discussing the incident.
In announcing the signing on Monday, John Dorsey, the general manager of the Browns, said: “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.”
He continued, “Given what we know about Kareem through our extensive research, we believe he deserves a second chance.” Dorsey was the general manager of the Chiefs when the team drafted Hunt two years ago.
In the announcement, Hunt was quoted as saying: “First off, I would like to once again apologize for my actions last year. What I did was wrong and inexcusable.”
He added, “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.”
The big-name signing comes at a time when hopes are higher for the Browns than they have been for years. After 1-15 and 0-16 seasons, the team, led by the promising rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, raced to a 7-8-1 record in the 2018 season, its best since 2007.
Hunt joins a backfield that includes Nick Chubb, who came just 4 yards short of a 1,000-yard season in his rookie year.
The team is being listed at about 30-1 odds to win the Super Bowl, making them 12th favorites. By the hapless historical standards of the Browns, that qualifies as rampant optimism.
Just 23, Hunt has made a name for himself on the field in his two years in the N.F.L., leading the league in rushing as a rookie in 2017. Cutting him in the fall hurt the top-seeded Chiefs, who felt his absence in the playoffs and, perhaps as a result, failed to advance to the Super Bowl.
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