Travis Kelce confident Kareem Hunt won't blow second chance in Cleveland

Chiefs tight end says Browns renaissance "exciting, electrifying"

Daryl Ruiter
June 15, 2019 - 9:57 pm
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Eastlake, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns gave Kareem Hunt a new lease on life – on and off the field – by signing him in February.

It remains to be seen whether Hunt, who will serve an eight-game suspension at the outset of the season for multiple off-the-field incidents, will be able to resurrect his image and career in Cleveland, but he’s off to a good start.

Travis Kelce, a Cleveland Heights native and Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro tight end, believes Hunt will make the most of his second chance.

“I think so, without a doubt,” Kelce said Saturday prior to Jarvis Landry’s celebrity softball game at Classic Park. “Me and Kareem have been good friends ever since he got to Kansas City, another fellow Clevelander, northeast Ohio guy.

“I think you guys are getting an unbelievable athlete, somebody that can change the game with one or two carries, one or two touches, and really give you a chance to win. He’s an unbelievable player. It ripped our hearts out when he got released from Kansas City but to see him get another chance, I would hope, and I would think he’s going to make the absolute most of it without a doubt.”

The Chiefs released in late November, Hunt hours after TMZ.com published security video of Hunt pushing and kicking a woman in a hallway outside his residence at the Metropolitan at The 9 in downtown Cleveland in February 2018.

Although no criminal charges were filed, the video was damning.

The NFL investigated that incident as well as two others, including a June 2018 altercation involving Hunt at Put-in-Bay where once again no charges were filed.  

“As much as you try and stay away from the actual situation that happed, Kareem has been nothing but a great friend, a great teammate,” Kelce said. “[He’s] been in the community, trying to help out and make a difference in other people’s lives and that’s what’s real.

“I don’t want to get into it too much, but everyone has things that go wrong in their life. It’s how you come out of those situations that determine your true character. Kareem, hopefully, is going to make the most of his situation.”

Since joining the Browns Hunt has kept a relatively low profile. He’s met with reporters just once but Browns general manager John Dorsey, who drafted Hunt in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft while serving as GM of the Chiefs, and head coach Freddie Kitchens have praised Hunt continually this offseason.

Baker Mayfield spoke to Kelce and Chiefs quarterback and NF MVP Patrick Mahomes about Hunt and both backed the Willoughby South and Toledo product as a person and player.

Kelce has kept in touch with Hunt and plans to spend time with him this summer.

“We’re Cleveland kids and as Clevelanders we gotta stick together,” Kelce said. “We stay in contact and sure enough whenever we’re in the same city, it’s always love. It’s a brotherhood once you go through the ranks and make it to the league, and of course you’re from the same area [so] you automatically have a binding force that can’t be broken.”

Hunt, who led the NFL in rushing in 2017 with 1,327 yards and has amassed 2,984 all-purpose yards and 25 touchdowns in 27 career games, is yet another prolific player added by Dorsey, once he’s eligible to play starting Nov. 10.

In just 18 months Dorsey has flipped the Browns roster from an 0-16, 1-31 and 4-44 historic disaster of epic proportions into a legitimate playoff contender with the additions of quarterback Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward in the draft and acquiring Pro Bowlers Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and Olivier Vernon through trades.

Kelce has noticed the renaissance taking place for the hometown professional football team.

“It’s exciting,” Kelce said. “I’ve always had kind of a little cheering section in my heart for the Browns growing up in Cleveland. Even though I was a part of the decade growing up when they shipped them off to Baltimore, I was pretty hurt about that but when we got Tim Couch and the gang back in town it was like they never left.

“I’m happy for the city. I couldn’t be more happy for the city. I think it’s electrifying, obviously. Everyone wants to talk about it and even more so, everyone wants to see it. I think it’s going to be something that’s going to get this crowd and this Cleveland fanbase rockin’ and rollin’ like we know how.”

Kelce and the Chiefs are coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Super Bowl champion Patriots in the AFC Championship game in January and there’s every reason to believe that the Browns could potentially provide Kansas City some competition this coming January.

Kelce has already thought about it, and he is ready for it.

“I can see a few scenarios playing out,” Kelce said. “I’ve always thought about a Kelce Super Bowl – me playing against my brother in the Super Bowl. There’s a lot of things you could dream and have fun with but the best way to attack it is to hope that that scenario finds its way into life and you’re ready for it when it happens.”