The Kansas City Chiefs and then-general manager John Dorsey drafted little known Toledo running back Kareem Hunt in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Hunt, who set the record for career total yards from scrimmage at Toledo, exploded in Andy Reid’s offense as a rookie, beginning the season as a starter after Spencer Ware was lost with a knee injury during the Chiefs third preseason game.
Hunt led the league in rushing in 2017, and was approaching another 1,000 yard season when TMZ released a video of Hunt shoving and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel, an incident that took place last February. The Chiefs released Hunt, who admitted he’d lied to the organization about the extent of what happened that evening when previously questioned about it, and there were legitimate questions about whether he’d ever play pro football again. That is, until John Dorsey came calling once again.
Dorsey, now the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, signed Hunt to a 1-year deal that could be worth upwards of $1 million, per Ian Rapoport. Hunt has been placed back on the commissioner’s exempt list and will almost certainly face further discipline from the NFL. He will then become a restricted free agent in 2020.
“My relationship and interaction with Kareem since 2016 in college was an important part of this decision making process but we then did extensive due diligence with many individuals, including clinical professionals, to have a better understanding of the person he is today and whether it was prudent to sign him,” Dorsey said in a statement issued by the Browns.
“There were two important factors: one is that Kareem took full responsibility for his egregious actions and showed true remorse and secondly, just as importantly, he is undergoing and is committed to necessary professional treatment and a plan that has been clearly laid out.”
Hunt issued a statement himself, apologizing again for his actions and calling them “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,” Hunt continued. “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.”
Hunt has been going through alcohol and anger management since his release from the Chiefs, per Rapoport, and will continue to do so.