While Watson is garnering all of the headlines, there is another situation brewing, and it is with running back Kareem Hunt.
Hunt is entering the last year of his contract and has made it very clear that he wants to stay in Cleveland beyond 2022.
Now his actions are speaking as loudly as his words.
What Hunt Is Doing
According to Josina Anderson, Hunt declined to participate in team drills for the second straight day on Saturday.
Browns RB Kareem Hunt—currently seeking a contract extension—did not participate in team drills for the second consecutive practice on Saturday. Hunt told the team multiple times recently, his current plan is to participate in individuals drills only. Friday marked the first 1/4
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) August 6, 2022
Anderson is reporting that Hunt notified the Browns “multiple times recently” that his plan was “to participate in individual drills only”.
Hunt Wants To Stay At Home
It sounds like Hunt is in communication with the team, and he has been transparent with the fans and media in Cleveland that he wants to stay in his home state and continue to play for the Browns.
— Noah Weiskopf (@BrownsWithNoah) June 29, 2022
Kareem Hunt must love playing at home. Signing a 2-year contract extension in 2020 as a RFA after Nick Chubb was 2nd in the NFL in rushing was a curious decision. Wanting a new deal when Chubb is in the 1st new year of 3-year extension averaging $12.2M per year is another one.
— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) August 6, 2022
What Happens Next?
It looks as though the ball is in the Browns’ court.
Hunt wants a contract.
Will he continue to hold out as the preseason continues?
If the Browns are not interested in extending him, could he ask for a trade?
All of these questions are premature; however, things could progress in that direction if the Browns do not make an effort to extend him.
Browns RB Room Is Deep
Hunt knows that the RB room is crowded; perhaps that is part of his motivation to ask for security now before the 2022 season begins.
Nick Chubb is in the first year of his extension.
D’Ernest Johnson just signed a one-year $1.2 million deal for the 2022 season.
Second-year player Demetric Felton is capable of lining up as either a running back or wide receiver, and there have already been rave reviews about rookie Jerome Ford.
The #Browns did not need that story right now.
But that’s why they brought back D’Ernest Johnson and drafted Jerome Ford. Always follow the money.
— Nick Pedone (@NickPedone12) August 6, 2022
This is another distraction for the Browns to deal with, and it comes at a bad time.
How they resolve the situation is yet to be determined, stay tuned for updates.