WASHINGTON — Just three months after the Kansas City Chiefs released Kareem Hunt, the Cleveland Browns have signed the 23-year-old to a one-year deal.
The Chiefs released Hunt hours after TMZ Sports released a video of him shoving a man and then kicking a woman who was on the ground
The incident happened in February 2018 in a downtown Cleveland hotel. In the video you see Hunt, another man and a woman. It seems as though some words are exchanged and Hunt proceeds to push and kick the woman.
It is alleged that the women called Hunt a derogatory term (the N-word). Hunt stated in an interview with ESPN that he did not know the woman, but the incident was caused because “there were some things said and did that I did not like.”
Hunt was not charged for the incident, but the Chiefs did state that they knew about the altercation, but that Hunt did not tell them the true story:
“Kareem was not truthful in those discussions," said the Chiefs in a statement. "The video released today confirms that fact. We are releasing Kareem immediately.”
Moments prior to being released from the Chiefs, Hunt was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. While on the list Hunt “cannot attend games or practice, and is allowed at the facility for meetings, individual workouts, therapy and rehabilitation and other non-football activities.” He is also allowed to receive his normal salary, and only the Commissioner can remove him from the list.
Although he has been signed by the Browns, Hunt remains on the list and may be suspended following further investigations. He is also under investigation for the accusation of punching a man in Ohio and being involved in an altercation in a night club.
It is expected that he will be suspended for at least six games without pay, per the NFL's personal conduct policy which calls for a six-game suspension for a first offense.
This six-game standard comes after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell received backlash for only suspending Ray Rice two games for domestic violence.
The NFL has been at the forefront of domestic violence with multiple cases of players being accused of domestic violence. But Browns General Manager, John Dorsey, is a believer in second chances.
Dorsey released the following statement after signing the free agent:
“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.”
Dorsey was General Manager for the Chiefs when they drafted Hunt in 2017. Hunt appeared in 27 career games. In his rookie season he led the NFL with 1,327 rushing yards, making him just one of six rookies to lead the league in rushing yards.
In 2017 he appeared in 11 games and rushed for 824 yards, had 378 receiving yards, and scored 14 touchdowns. His last game was in week 11 against the Los Angeles Rams.