In a move that is likely to spark outrage, the Cleveland Browns signed troubled running back Kareem Hunt on Monday.
Hunt was released by the Kansas City Chiefs in December after a video showing him shoving and kicking a woman last February at a Cleveland hotel was obtained by TMZ.
Though he was never arrested nor charged for the incident, he was placed on the Commissioner Exempt List by the NFL and is ineligible to play until the league completes an investigation into the incident.
Hunt, 23, is almost certainly going to be suspended by the NFL, although how long he will be banned is really anyone’s guess as the league’s discipline has been wildly inconsistent.
“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,” Cleveland GM John Dorsey said of the signing.
“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.”
An Ohio native, Hunt was a third-round pick out of Toledo.
Following the signing, he said in part: “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.”
Statement from RB Kareem Hunt: pic.twitter.com/JPRFnkRdCy
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) February 11, 2019
In his rookie season, Hunt led the NFL in rushing with 1,327 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had 53 receptions for 455 yards and three touchdowns.
Before he was released last year, Hunt rushed for 824 yards and seven touchdowns in 11 games and had seven receiving touchdowns.