A third-round selection in 2017 by the Kansas City Chiefs, Kareem Hunt was originally drafted by general manager Jon Dorsey, who eventually would also bring him to the Cleveland Browns after he was released following video showing him assaulting a woman in a hotel lobby. While Dorsey is long gone, Hunt still remains, entering his fourth season in Cleveland—and, he’s hoping, not the last.
He told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com that he has approached the Browns front office about receiving a contract extension to remain with the team beyond the 2022 season, even after they have already paid Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb. He appears to have no ego about playing second fiddle to remain in the city he calls home.
“I was born and raised here”, he told Cabot during the team’s mandatory minicamp session following Thursday practice. “I’d love to finish my career here and just keep playing the game with Chubb longer and with the great guys on this great team”.
Hunt himself was a Pro Bowler before coming to Cleveland. As a rookie—the Offensive Rookie of the Year and a Pro Bowler to boot—he led the league in rushing with 1,327 yards on 272 carries and eight touchdowns. In just 11 games in 2018, before his release, he was well on his way to another Pro Bowl year, rushing for 824 yards with seven touchdowns, plus another 378 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns.
He began his first year in Cleveland serving an eight-game suspension for his off-field misconduct, and played very little that first year, but in 2020, partly due to injuries Chubb dealt with, he was able to rush for 841 yards himself with six touchdowns on just 198 carries. He had five receiving touchdowns as well.
But he struggled to stay healthy during the 2021 season, playing in just eight games, yet he was still productive when given the opportunity. He rushed for 386 yards on only 78 carries and scored five times, adding 174 receiving yards, averaging 5.6 yards per touch—better than his career average, and he has always been a prolific receiving back.
His desire to remain in Cleveland is a seeming commitment to being the number two back. Chubb, since entering the league in 2018, has rushed for 4,816 yards, second only to Derrick Henry in that span, with 37 touchdowns, only one behind second place—and a very distant first, being Henry with 55. But he leads all prolific backs with 5.3 yards per carry during that time.
The Browns know, frankly, that they have a good thing going with Hunt as their number two, as he is more than capable of being a full-time starter should Chubb get injured, yet he is seemingly willing to take on that number two role, with number two pay.