Browns sign RB Kareem Hunt

The Cleveland Browns announced on Monday afternoon that they have signed running back Kareem Hunt.

Hunt, a 2017 Pro Bowler as a rookie, was released by the Kansas City Chiefs in November after video surfaced of an incident in which he is seen shoving and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel earlier in 2018.

However, it’s unclear when Hunt will be able to play for Cleveland: there is at least one other incident of Hunt being violent toward another individual that the NFL is investigating (he was accused of punching a man at an Ohio resort last summer), and he could be suspended for six games or more.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Hunt got a one-year deal. For now, he’ll be on the commissioner’s exempt list, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB.

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Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) carries the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
NFL football player Kareem Hunt, of the Kansas City Chiefs arrives at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2018 file photo Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) celebrates his touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars with quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo. The Cincinnati Bengals bring one of the NFL’s worst defenses to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 to face the Chiefs. They also bring an ailing defense, and that should only make it tougher to slow down Patrick Mahomes and Co. The Bengals are coming off a loss to Pittsburgh while Kansas City lost for the first time last week in New England (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt walks to the practice field during NFL football training camp in St. Joseph, Mo., Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) celebrates with fans after an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Toledo running back Kareem Hunt reacts after a 32-27 loss to Northern Illinois in an NCAA college football game Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Kansas City Chiefs' Kareem Hunt catches a touchdown pass during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) carries the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Kareem Hunt during the Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (Michael Ainsworth/AP Images for Head & Shoulders)
Toledo head coach Matt Campbell, right, talks with running back Kareem Hunt after a 38-7 win over Kent State in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)
FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, right, runs for a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL football game in Carson, Calif. Hunt was the AFC offensive player of the month after he led the league with 401 yards rushing, caught nine passes for 137 yards and reached the end zone five times. The Chiefs face the Washington Redskins this week. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Toledo Rockets running back Kareem Hunt (3) runs with the ball in the third quarter of a 49-24 loss to the Missouri Tigers in an NCAA college football game in Toledo, Ohio, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) eludes New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) as he crosses the goal line for a touchdown after catching a pass from Alex Smith during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) eludes New England Patriots defensive end Cassius Marsh (55) as he runs for a touchdown after catching a pass from Alex Smith during the second half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. Of 266 rookies on active rosters in Week 1, 33 started and 13 more played at least half the snaps. Linebackers and running backs led the way with a combined total of 15 guys, including Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette and T.J. Watt. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
North squad running back Kareem Hunt of Toledo (33) carries the ball during the second half of the Senior Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Toledo running back Kareem Hunt celebrates his 6-yard rushing touchdown against Northern Illinois during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)
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A familiar face gives Hunt another chance

Given Hunt’s talent, there was little question he would get another chance somewhere. It’s not surprising that the team to give it to him was the Browns – general manager John Dorsey was in the same role with the Chiefs two years ago, and drafted Hunt in the third round.

In a statement, Dorsey said his previous relationship with the 23-year-old was part of the decision to sign Hunt.

“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. “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.

“We fully understand and respect the complexity of questions and issues in signing a player with Kareem’s history and do not condone his actions. Given what we know about Kareem through our extensive research, we believe he deserves a second chance but certainly with the understanding that he has to go through critical and essential steps to become a performing member of this organization, aside from what the NFL determines from their ongoing investigation. We fully understand that Kareem is subject to discipline by the NFL.

“Here at the Browns, there is a detailed plan with expectations laid out that he understands and must follow, because any similar incident will not be tolerated. We will support Kareem through this process and utilize our resources, however permitted, to help him become successful on and off the field as long as he continues to show the commitment necessary to represent this organization.”

In 2016 Dorsey also drafted Tyreek Hill, who pleaded guilty to domestic assault and battery on his girlfriend in a 2014 incident; she was pregnant at the time.

Hunt: ‘I’ve learned a great deal’

The Browns also posted a statement from Hunt:

“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, [owners] 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.

“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.”

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