Last week, Kareem Hunt requested a trade from the Cleveland Browns.
Hunt apparently wants a new, bigger contract for the season.
But the Browns so far have no plans to give it to him.
ICYMI: Kareem Hunt has asked the #Browns to trade him and they've said no, per league sources; his best play is to kill it for them this season, try to bring the Lombardi trophy home, and earn his next big deal https://t.co/xt3anSzA1o
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 8, 2022
Now he wants off of the team.
Hunt tried to just stick to individual drills at training camp as part of a “hold-out”.
However, he was back in team drills yesterday, seemingly after he and the Browns made some sort of temporary resolve.
#Browns RB Kareem Hunt back in team drills today.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) August 7, 2022
Or he could have just realized what fines would face for missing team drills.
#Browns Kevin Stefanski won’t say much about Kareem Hunt’s trade demand or holdout of team drills, but acknowledged a healthy player is not permitted to sit out drills. Wouldn’t say if they’re fining him (but they are).
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 7, 2022
Either way, Hunt’s request is in, leaving everyone to speculate on the runningback’s future.
Fans, analysts, reporters, and coaches must now ask … should the Browns trade Kareem Hunt?
Reasons to trade him
The Browns already extended Nick Chubb
It’s hard enough deciding to pay one running back big money, let alone two, in the modern NFL.
With the contract extension, the Browns have already given to Nick Chubb ($36.6 million over three years), it wouldn’t be smart.
In a modern NFL where teams don’t pay one running back big money, it’s a terrible idea to give two running backs big money.
He is too risky to sign
Kareem Hunt is 27 years old.
As far as running backs go, that is getting up there for years in the NFL.
Not to mention Hunt was injured most of last season.
With more money tied to his name, the aging running back might be more of a liability than an asset.
The Browns don’t want another OBJ situation
Last season, Odell Beckham Jr. requested a trade from the Browns.
The team rejected that request and attempted to make OBJ play through the season.
As all Browns fans know, this would ultimately backfire as he forced his way off the team midway through the season, after the trade deadline.
The Browns can’t go through a similar situation with Hunt if he continues to feel disgruntled.
It could be smart to move him off the team before the real drama begins.
Reasons not to trade him
He is too valuable in the passing game
There are many reasons why the Browns’ passing game faltered last year.
But one of the bigger reasons was the absence of Hunt.
His contribution to pass-catching is invaluable as he works as the perfect checkdown option
And is able to make some big plays downfield in open space.
He is also a familiar face on an offense that is seeing a lot of changes this offseason.
The wide receiver is almost completely rebuilt.
And there is a chance Deshaun Watson won’t see the field at all this season.
Having a familiar face in the passing game would be a big benefit for the team.
Chubb is a better RB with Hunt
Over the past few years, Chubb and Hunt have played together to form the infamous “one-two punch” runningback duo known to fans as “Chunt”.
Sorry but Chunt sounds better than Chonson. 🤷♂️ #Browns
— Artist Formerly Known As Whoopty-Hell (@FanoftheLand13) August 6, 2022
This duo has struck fear into NFL teams with a range of dynamic abilities rarely seen in running back rooms.
Chubb trucks tacklers and pierces through holes in the defense while Hunt catches checkdowns and hurdles defenders downfield.
— WaitingForNextYear (@WFNYCLE) November 22, 2020
They work as the perfect change of pace for one another.
Yes, Chubb would be a great running back without HUnt.
But he might not be as great.
Especially in the passing game and especially when teams just have to gameplan for him.
With Watson potentially missing the entire season, the Browns might want to keep the dynamic duo together, at least for one more season.