The Browns’ new running back will be lost for the first half of the season.
BROWNS’ KAREEM HUNT SUSPENDED FOR THE FIRST EIGHT REGULAR SEASON GAMES FOR VIOLATIONS OF NFL PERSONAL CONDUCT POLICY: https://t.co/22QUK2ey0c
— NFL345 (@NFL345) March 15, 2019
Hunt was a rising star for the Chiefs until a video surfaced showing him fighting with a woman at a hotel, pushing and kicking her. In response, Hunt was placed on the Commissioner Exempt list on November 30 and was released by the Chiefs that very day. A few months later, the Browns signed Hunt, giving them a crowded backfield which includes rookie standout, Nick Chubb, and veteran Duke Johnson.
The Browns always knew the league would hand down a punishment, but were willing to take the risk. Cleveland’s GM, John Dorsey, has had a relationship with Hunt as he drafted the running back out of Toledo in 2017 when he was the GM of the Chiefs.
“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,” said Dorsey. “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.”
Upon hearing of the NFL’s decision, Hunt issued the following statement, accepting the punishment that he was given and reiterating the remorse he felt.
NFL announces suspension for RB Kareem Hunt
Statement from Hunt: pic.twitter.com/AAzopWOMkc
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 15, 2019
“I want to again apologize for my actions last year. I know that my behavior hurt a lot of people, and I again apologize to them. I respect the league’s decision on discipline, and I appreciate the time I spent with Commissioner Goodell last week,” said Hunt in his statement. “I’m grateful for my time with the Browns over the last month and thankful to all the people in the organization that have welcomed me. I also appreciate all of the support I received from my union through this process. My commitment to earning the trust of the league, my teammates, the organization and this community through my actions will continue, and I understand there is a lot of hard work ahead of me before I’m able to fully return to playing the game I love.”
The Browns will now be without Hunt for the first half of the season.