The Browns felt no remorse in dumping RB Kareem Hunt on the side of the road this offseason. They just had to kick him while he was down, too.
Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt has had one foot out the door since late last season when the franchise first put Hunt on the trading block.
At the time, the Browns were asking for just a fourth-round pick in return for the sixth-year running back, and they clearly haven’t changed their stance on just how little Hunt is worth.
Hunt played out his two-year contract with Cleveland and entered this offseason as an intriguing free agent running back, seen as a viable RB2 for any team in 2023.
For the Browns, though, Hunt can be described with a single word: slow.
Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com gave his thoughts on Hunt’s situation in Cleveland and was sure that the running back wouldn’t return to the Browns this season, one reason being that Hunt was getting slower.
I kept hearing from the Browns that Hunt was “slipping” in terms of his speed. He averaged a career-low 3.8 yards per carry. Pro Football Focus ranked him 53rd out of 62 qualifying running backs.
The Browns aren’t the only team who are low on Hunt as he hasn’t received a whole lot of attention in free agency so far. Pluto says Hunt would be lucky to get a one-year deal in the $4 million range at this point.
Cleveland Browns believe RB Kareem Hunt is “slipping” in form, speed
In Hunt’s place, 2022 fifth-rounder Jerome Ford will likely absorb some snaps in the rushing attack behind Nick Chubb.
Ford provides special teams value with experience in kickoff returns, and his age and price range also make him a more desirable backup option for Cleveland in 2023.
In 2022, Hunt didn’t record a single start and posted 123 carries for 468 yards, a career-low efficiency rate. He’s far removed from his 1,000-plus rookie season at Kansas City, and at his age, it’s only going downhill from here.
Still, the Browns didn’t have to throw shade at Hunt like that — even if they plan on moving on from him, saying that Hunt is “slipping” in terms of his speed lowers his market value, and Hunt will find it that much more difficult to find a new home this offseason.
If the Browns and Hunt do eventually part ways, Hunt will no doubt remember the slight, and should the two meet on opposite sides of the field in 2023, best believe the running back will be itching to show just how fast he can be.
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