The Cleveland Browns signed troubled running back Kareem Hunt on Monday. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Hunt signed a one-year contract. Making him a restricted free agent after the contract expires, meaning the Browns will control his rights after next season.
In December we told you how the Kansas City Cheifs released Kareem Hunt from the team and EA Sports removed him from the Madden ’19 video game after TMZ Sports obtained footage of the former Chiefs player attacking a woman in a Cleveland hotel during an incident in February 2018. The NFL placed Hunt on the commissioner’s exempt list shortly before he was released. He is not eligible to play until the NFL completes its investigation into the incidents and a decision on potential discipline is made.
A ccording to a source close to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the discipline process is “still ongoing and nowhere near done.” A source told Graziano that Hunt met with NFL investigators in January as part of the process.
He will again be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list until the NFL makes a final decision on discipline.
Browns general manager John Dorsey drafted Hunt for the Chiefs in 2017, when Dorsey was the team’s GM.
Dorsey who ssays he spoke ot many people about the incident also told reporters, “I want everybody to know we have done extensive research in regards to this case, this player, he understands and takes full responsibility for the egregious act he committed. He is extremely remorseful for his actions,” Dorsey told reporters during media availability Monday.
Hunt, 23, apologized to the woman in the February incident, the Chiefs organization and his family in an interview with ESPN after his release.
He apologized again in a Browns statement on Monday.
“First off, I would like to once again apologize for my actions last year. What I did was wrong and inexcusable. That is not the man I was raised to be, and I’ve learned a great deal from that experience and certainly should have been more truthful about it after the fact. I’m extremely grateful that John Dorsey, Dee and Jimmy Haslam and the Cleveland Browns organization are granting me the opportunity to earn their trust and represent their organization in the best way possible on and off the field,” the statement read.
“I am committed to following the necessary steps to learn and to be a better and healthier person from this situation. I also understand the expectations that the Browns have clearly laid out and that I have to earn my way back to the NFL. I’m a work in progress as a person, but I’m committed to taking advantage of the support systems that I have in place to become the best and healthier version of myself.”
Dorsey said Hunt voluntarily began counseling shortly after he was released by the Chiefs and “is now working toward being a better man going forward.”
He added that Hunt’s signing is “by no means … a guarantee of anything. As we all know, trust has to be earned. That has to be earned with the Cleveland Browns organization and the community of Cleveland moving forward. This will be a day-to-day thing with earning trust.”
Asked if the Browns would have a zero tolerance policy with regard to Hunt, Dorsey replied, “You know what, I’ll say yes.”