The NFL is expected to finish its investigation into three different off-field incidents involving running back Kareem Hunt and decide on a final punishment before free agency opens in March, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Rapoport reported Sunday that Hunt is expected to face a suspension of six-plus games but is likely to be back on the field at some point in the 2019 season.
The former Kansas City Chiefs running back was released by the team in November after TMZ released a video showing Hunt pushing and kicking then-19-year-old Abigail Ottinger from Berea, Ohio, in Cleveland last February.
Hunt also allegedly was involved in an altercation at a restaurant last June, an incident the NFL was aware of and questioned the running back about. However, TMZ also reported that Hunt was involved in a violent incident last January at a nightclub in Kansas City, an altercation the NFL did not previously know about, according to ESPN.
In that incident, TMZ reported that Hunt and others — including then-Chiefs running back George Atkinson — beat a man to the point of unconsciousness at a nightclub in Kansas City on Jan. 11.
The NFL placed Hunt, the 2017 rushing leader, on the commissioner’s exempt list while it investigates all three incidents, meaning Hunt is unable to play for any team that might sign him.
Hunt went unclaimed on waivers and is officially a free agent.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that several teams are interested in signing him. He quoted a source who said it looks as if Hunt will be with a team “sooner rather than later.”
Hunt also has been undergoing anger-management counseling on a daily basis, Schefter said.
Hunt, 23, is from the Cleveland suburb of Willoughby and spends a significant part of his offseason in the area. He played college football at Toledo and burst onto the scene as a third-round draft pick in 2017.
Hunt rushed for an NFL-best 1,327 yards as a rookie. He had 824 yards through 11 games this season.