The Cleveland Browns knew that they were taking a risk, in more ways than one, when they signed former Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl running back Kareem Hunt. I’m sure you are more than well aware of the back story behind the incident that got him both released from the Chiefs and suspended for eight games by the league, so I won’t belabor it here.
The point is, signing Hunt is something that many teams wouldn’t have been willing to do, but it helped that the Browns’ general manager, John Dorsey, was in Kansas City when they drafted him. And even with the Browns, he has already displayed the propensity to offer second chance to players who have had incidents in college during the draft process.
After they did sign him, they made it very clear that nothing is being given to him, and nothing is guaranteed, and that he is going to have to earn his place on the team every step of the way, both on and off the field. Many believed that they might have a one-strike policy in place for him, meaning that should any qualifying incident arise, he would be released.
Now some are wondering if a recent incident in which Hunt was involved in a Cleveland bar over the weekend would qualify as such. The problem is that there is so little clear as to what exactly happened, if indeed anything happened at all.
The loveable TMZ released a very short video of Hunt speaking with police outside of the establishment, in which he raised his voice to emphatically answer ‘yes’ to an unknown question. The website writes that he had a “small argument” with a friend. They were told by one witness that there was some “physical altercation”, but it wasn’t clear whether it was a genuine scuffle or something more banal.
At the very least, it was significant enough to get the team’s attention, with a Browns spokesman telling Pro Football Talk that the team “is aware of the incident”, and that they have also spoken to Hunt about it. The 23-year-old was neither detained nor arrested and left without incident after speaking to police, though the same was true following the incident that lost him his job as well.
For the moment, it’s impossible to say anything more about this situation because there’s so little about what actually happened that can be corroborated. The owner of the establishment claimed that people “blew [the incident] out of proportion”, but he could be motivated to say that as well.
TMZ helpfully reminded that Hunt said following his release last year that he would seek counseling for alcohol abuse, so the fact that he was in a bar is somewhat interesting in and of itself. The fact that some sort of issue arose while presumably consuming alcoholic beverages is not the greatest look, but we’ll see what comes of this.