Earlier this week, following the Cleveland Browns’ somewhat embarrassing loss to the Arizona Cardinals, running back Kareem Hunt called out unnamed teammates by saying that he felt that there were players out on the field who were not giving 100 percent effort all the time.
Head coach Freddie Kitchens disagreed with the assessment, but also said that he didn’t have any issue with Hunt saying it. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, on the other hand, appreciated the comment, and went so far as to say that it was part of the reason that the Browns wanted to bring him on board.
“Kareem has been in a place in Kansas City that knows how to win so his level and his standard of accountability for everybody to do their job is very high”, Mayfield told reporters. “That is the type of guy you want to bring in here”.
“I do not think it was anything personal to anybody, but Kareem, bringing him in was huge part for us raising the standards”, he added. “We want that. We want guys to be able to have accountability. It does not need to just come from me all the time. Having a guy like that and Nick Chubb is our silent assassin so having Kareem being a vocal leader is important for us”.
Hunt was originally a third-round draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017, and he won the rushing title as a rookie. He was off to a very good season last year as well before the team was pressured into releasing him after surveillance footage showed him kicking and pushing a woman in a hotel lobby earlier that year.
Nobody attempted to claim him off waivers, but the Browns took the chance and signed him to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, knowing that he would be hit with a hefty suspension. That ultimately came in at eight games, after being reduced from 10.
In his six games with the Browns, working behind Chubb, Hunt has rushed for 167 yards on 38 attempts with two touchdowns, plus 220 receiving yards on 30 receptions with another touchdown. He totaled 25 touchdowns in his 27 career games in Kansas City.
He is a complementary player in Cleveland now, however, with Chubb, who is the NFL’s leading rusher. He has 1408 rushing yards on 270 carries with eight touchdowns, in addition to 277 yards receiving on 35 receptions. Hunt has taken on more of the passing game responsibilities.