INDIANAPOLIS — Signing Kareem Hunt was all about knowing his heart, Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey said Thursday.
Hunt should soon know his standing with the NFL and Browns.
Dorsey said at 2019 NFL Scouting Combine the league was still reviewing Hunt’s status. The running back is on the Commissioner’s Exempt List as a result of a physical confrontation with a woman at a Cleveland hotel caught on video. The release of the evidence led to Hunt’s contract being terminated by the Kansas City Chiefs.
“We had done our research,” Dorsey said. “We thought at the appropriate time with all the information we did have, how truly remorseful he was and … knowing when he comes here there are no guarantees, he’s going to earn your respect with his actions. Right now, I feel very comfortable with the signing.
“Deep down, if you really sit down and engage with him, he has a really good heart. The act he did last year — it was egregious. We all know that. … He’s showing through his actions, not his words, how remorseful he is.”
Dorsey was with the Chiefs when Hunt, who grew up in Ohio and played at Toledo, was drafted.
“He’s got a lot of work to do,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said, “between now and when that second chance comes. Right now, our job is to support Kareem and help him grow as a person.”
Hunt is expected to be suspended at least six games and likely 10-plus games, ESPN reported.
Chubb remains starter
Kitchens said Nick Chubb is the starting running back for the Browns, and Duke Johnson will be viewed as the third-down back. While Hunt might be able to contribute in the future, Kitchens said football is not yet his priority.
“Kareem has to be willing, has to show remorse, has to be willing to make a change. There’s some good that can come out of this,” Kitchens said.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said he expected a second chance to come for Hunt, who led the NFL in rushing as a rookie and was leading the league in total yards when Kansas City cut him.
“I’m a fan of second chances as long as they do the right steps to get there,” Reid said.
On the topic of second chances, when asked about the Browns’ interest in Antonio Brown, Dorsey held his cell phone in the air with his right hand and said, “(Steelers GM) Kevin (Colbert) here’s my cell phone.”
Dorsey said the Browns will continue to be aggressive in their personnel pursuit.
“You have to explore all opportunities,” Dorsey said. “We’ll examine everything. That’s what you’re trying to do — get better year in, year out.”
–By Jeff Reynolds (@ReynoldsJD), Field Level Media