CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns are in offseason acquisition mode to bolster their roster for the 2019 season, and they made the controversial move of signing former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt Monday afternoon.
Although a Pro Bowl-caliber running back, Hunt, a native of Willoughby and graduate of South High School, was released from his rookie contract in late November of 2018 when video surfaced of him pushing down, and later, kicking a woman at The 9 Hotel in Downtown Cleveland. Since that video became public, reports of other incidents involving Hunt have surfaced.
Following the news, reaction was swift from fans and the team.
The Browns released a statement in which general manager John Dorsey defended the decision to sign Hunt, whom he drafted with a third-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of the University of Toledo.
Also, the Browns sent out a tweet with a statement from Hunt following the signing.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Hunt signed a one-year deal that could be worth more than $1 million dependent upon the length of suspension he gets after meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
In less than an hour, more than 37,000 tweets containing “Kareem Hunt” and another 60,000 using “Browns” were sent out, making it among the top trending topics of the day with reaction bordering on disbelief and outrage.
While some were upset with the Browns signing Hunt, others took a strictly football perspective on the transaction and believe that if he can stay out of trouble, the signing makes sense in a league where it is commonplace to take risks on talented players, even if they have character issues.