Browns plan to tender RB Kareem Hunt

Hunt averaged 4.2 yards per carry, scored 3 TDs in 2019

Daryl Ruiter
February 25, 2020 - 5:20 pm
Kareem Hunt

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (92.3 The Fan) – Andrew Berry must be good at poker.

Tuesday afternoon at the NFL Combine, the Browns executive vice president and general manager didn’t show his cards at all, with one minor exception – he plans to tender restricted free agent running back Kareem Hunt.

“Yes, that is the anticipation right now,” Berry said.

Hunt will be a restricted free agent when the new league year begins March 18 at 4 p.m. eastern and the Browns would like to bring him back for 2020.

“We think Kareem's a good football player,” Berry said. “We like having good football players on our roster, but, again, no different than I [said earlier], we'll explore every avenue to improve the team.”

Berry declined to elaborate on the factors that will go into the decision on the level of the tender.

“We'll consider a variety of factors, but I'm not going to go into detail,” Berry said.

Hunt, who was suspended for the first eight games of 2019, averaged 4.2 yards per carry, totaled 464 scrimmage yards and scored three touchdowns.

“I think Kareem’s a good player,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said. “I’ve had conversations with him already. I think there’s a future for Kareem here, obviously, and we’ll work through all that. But he’s a player certainly that we’re eager to get to work with.”

Hunt put his future in Cleveland in a precarious situation following a January traffic stop that fortunately saw him cited for just speeding. A Rocky River police officer found small amounts of marijuana and an open container of alcohol in a backpack during a search of Hunt’s vehicle. Hunt also told the officer he would fail an NFL drug test if administered one.

Former general manager John Dorsey didn’t hesitate to add players with troubled pasts and give them a second chance.

Berry and Stefanski are trying to improve the culture of the organization – on as well as off the field.

While character matters, not every situation is the same, including Hunt’s.

“There are some characteristics that we would view as non-negotiable,” Berry said. “You’ve heard us talk about smart, tough and accountable with guys but we’re also cognizant of the fact that nobody’s perfect and people do make mistakes but we want to make sure that guys are consistently behaving and conducting themselves in a manner that’s fitting of the Cleveland Browns.”