It seems likely that Kareem Hunt will be welcomed back into the NFL by someone at some point, and two teams are reportedly sniffing around.
According to NFL reporter Benjamin Allbright, the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills have considered signing Hunt, though neither has taken any steps to do so at this point.
No. Chicago and Buffalo were considering sniffing around was what I had heard. https://t.co/E8hriYAGwO
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) February 11, 2019
The Bears’ interest has been openly discussed by members of the organization, and coach Matt Nagy was Hunt’s offensive coordinator for a year in Kansas City. The Bills, however, have not been linked before.
Hunt was released by the Chiefs after video emerged of him attacking a woman. He still faces NFL discipline, which is a factor any team that acquires him must consider.
One prominent Chicago Bears player has no qualms whatsoever about Kareem Hunt potentially joining the roster.
Speaking with reporters on Friday, Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson indicated that he would embrace the embattled free agent running back.
“From when I met [him] and everything like that, for us to bring him into our locker room, I think guys would welcome him with open arms,” Robinson said, per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “He’d be one of us … A guy they’d bring into our locker room would be our brother.”
Robinson also said that Hunt seemed like a “good dude” based on the handful of times he had interacted with the former Kansas City Chiefs star. He did add however that he was not clear about the details surrounding Hunt’s release upon the emergence of a video showing him kicking and pushing a woman outside a hotel room last year.
From a pure football standpoint, the Bears could foreseeably stand to upgrade from their talented but modest-upside duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen in the backfield. That said, Hunt obviously comes with significant baggage and ethical questions that are already scaring some other teams off.
The New York Jets have enough salary cap space to sign multiple top free agents heading into the 2019 season, but don’t expect star running back Kareem Hunt to be one of them.
Though the Jets could use a play-making tailback to pair with Sam Darnold in the quarterback’s second season, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that they have zero interest in signing Hunt when he comes off the Commissioner’s Exempt List. The reason the Jets don’t want Hunt is the same reason many other teams will rule out signing him, but it apparently hits a bit closer to home for their front office.
As Mehta notes, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan and his wife, Betty, had a close friend killed in a domestic violence murder-suicide several years ago. They have since become heavily involved in the One Love Foundation, which is an organization that raises awareness about the warning signs of domestic violence.
Hunt, of course, was released by the Chiefs and placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List after a video of him shoving and kicking a woman outside a hotel room was released.
The Jets have been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Le’Veon Bell, and Hunt could give them the same caliber of player who is younger and would probably come cheaper. Maccagnan apparently doesn’t care about that, which is something no one should argue with.
As the NFL gets closer to a resolution involving disciplinary action for Kareem Hunt, more reports are surfacing that indicate the running back will not be out of work for very long.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Hunt has drawn interest from multiple teams and is expected to be signed “sooner rather than later.” He has been undergoing anger management counseling since a video surfaced in November showing him shoving and kicking a woman, and teams reportedly feel he has been making progress.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported early Sunday morning that the NFL’s investigation into Hunt’s off-field behavior is expected to be concluded before the start of free agency in March.
Hunt was released by the Chiefs immediately after the disturbing video surfaced. We know of at least one team that was willing to publicly acknowledge the possibility of signing Hunt, so it’s no surprise there are others.
- Kareem Hunt
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy sounds like he’s priming fans for a potential signing of Kareem Hunt.
The Bears coach told the media on Monday that he talked with Hunt recently.
“I talked to Kareem, completely wanting to know how he’s doing,” Nagy said at his season-ending press conference. “We had a good conversation. … The only thing I cared about when I talked to him was literally his personal life, how he’s doing. It was a good conversation. He sounded good. But that’s it. The other stuff, that’s not where it’s at. There’s more to it than the football, so we talked strictly on that.”
Nagy was the offensive coordinator in Kansas City during Hunt’s rookie season. They have a relationship that goes beyond football, which is why their conversation did not focus on that.
Hunt has not played since TMZ Sports published a video on Dec. 1 that showed Hunt getting physical with a woman during an incident at his apartment complex. He was cut by the Chiefs that day and placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List.
The second-year running back remains on the list as the league decides on his eventual discipline. They will consider three incidents when evaluating his case: Hunt was accused of attacking a man at a club in January; he was accused of punching a man in June; and the incident with the woman.
Nagy says he believes in second chances but not third chances. Maybe if it were just one incident, that would be a second chance situation. But the three accusations seem to indicate a pattern for the running back.
Whatever the case, Bears GM Ryan Pace doesn’t want anyone jumping the gun.
“We’re not even there yet,” Pace said. “I mean, I know what he is as a player obviously from watching. Matt knows more about him as a person. We’re not even close to that point.”
The Chicago Bears refused to rule out what would be a controversial pursuit of former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt.
Bears coach Matt Nagy admitted that he spoke to Hunt a week ago, but nobody was willing to commit either way to bringing Hunt to Chicago.
Bears non-committal on the idea of pursuing Kareem Hunt in the offseason. Matt Nagy spoke to Hunt by phone one week ago. Nagy and Hunt obviously have a relationship dating back to Kansas City.
— Jeff Dickerson (@DickersonESPN) January 14, 2019
Nagy was Hunt’s offensive coordinator during the running back’s rookie year with Kansas City in 2017.
Hunt was released by Kansas City after video emerged of him assaulting a woman. He faces a lengthy suspension from the NFL, and any approach from the Bears would be met with significant public outcry. It’s hard to see any reason for them to do it.
The NFL once again came under fire recently for its inability to track down video evidence of a player getting physical with a woman, and executives from the league tried to explain why that is the case on Wednesday.
Todd Jones, an NFL executive involved in off-field discipline, described the league’s investigative powers as “limited.” He said league officials act as swiftly as possible when they are able to obtain evidence like the video in the Kareem Hunt incident, but that evidence is not always readily available.
NFL exec Todd Jones, involved in off-field discipline, describes the NFL’s investigative powers as “limited. … There is information we can’t get when we need it. But when we get it, we act on it.” But makes clear the NFL will continue to investigate along with police.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 12, 2018
As was the case with the video of Ray Rice punching his now-wife Janay Palmer in an elevator, TMZ obtained the footage of Kareem Hunt kicking and shoving a woman earlier this year without the NFL ever having seen it. Jones noted that outlets like TMZ have the option of paying for the evidence, whereas the NFL doesn’t.
NFL exec Todd Jones says it’s “not likely at all” to buy evidence videos as @TMZ does. He points out it would open a “Pandora’s box” of issues, while also saying the league doesn’t have journalistic, First Amendment privilege to protect sources.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 12, 2018
The incident with Hunt took place at a Cleveland hotel, and police in the city are investigating whether or not the allegations of assault against Hunt were handled properly. NFL officials said previously that they immediately requested footage from hotel surveillance cameras after learning of the incident, but the hotel said it would only turn the footage over to law enforcement. It’s unclear why police never followed up.
While it makes sense that the NFL would be unable to pay for information the way TMZ would, that doesn’t explain some of the other reports from the Hunt investigation that make the league look extremely shady.