In 2019, the Cleveland Browns took a chance on running back Kareem Hunt.
He was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs, but the Browns gave him a second chance.
After serving his suspension, Hunt took the field and showed he was well worth the risk.
The 26-year-old signed a team-friendly deal with the Browns, but that deal won’t last forever.
In fact, Hunt is set to be a free agent after the 2023 season.
However, the Pro Bowl running back wants to stay with the team long-term.
Should Cleveland Keep Hunt?
Last season, Hunt was limited to eight games due to calf and ankle injuries.
His absence opened up a door for D’Ernest Johnson to get more snaps.
The 26-year-old took advantage of this opportunity and impressed the Browns.
Johnson rushed for over 500 yards and scored three touchdowns through 17 games last season.
There is certainly plenty of upside with Johnson, but Hunt is a dynamic dual-threat option.
Hunt can get it done in the rushing and receiving game, which is huge for the Browns offense.
He clearly wants to stay in Cleveland, so possibly the Browns should strike a deal before his value increases.
“I was born and raised here. I’d love to finish my career here” Hunt said.
#Browns Kareem Hunt, heading into the final year of his contract, is hoping for an extension pic.twitter.com/Qu7ZQerJIF
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) June 17, 2022
The health is a bit of a concern, but Hunt is a stud, assuming he can stay on the field.
Obviously, Chubb is the No. 1 option and the workhorse back for the Browns.
However, Hunt has shown the ability to be a legitimate back in the NFL.
He could start on plenty of teams, assuming he decides to leave next offseason.
The Browns do have Johnson as depth, but it’s uncertain if he can be a consistent option.
Cleveland has arguably the best running back duo in the league with Chubb and Hunt.
It’s always risky giving running backs long-term extensions, especially players with a history of injuries.
That being said, the Browns are likely to wait until possibly the end of next season before making a final decision on Hunt.
The good news is, Hunt wants to be in Cleveland, so now the Browns just need to decide if they want him to stay long term.
Staying In Cleveland
The two sides have already started talking about an extension, but it doesn’t sound like much progress has been made.
That being said, Hunt will likely have to play the 2023 season without a new deal.
Possibly, Hunt will take less money in order to stay in the city that he loves so much.
Although, no one should blame Hunt for wanting to get paid next offseason.
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