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Browns sign controversial running back Kareem Hunt

Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal on

Published in Football

John Dorsey drafted Kareem Hunt nearly two years ago, and now the general manager of the Browns is giving the controversial running back a chance to resurrect his NFL career.

The Browns signed Hunt on Monday, adding a tremendous talent to their roster but also opening themselves up to public backlash during what had otherwise been a quiet offseason for the organization.

The Kansas City Chiefs cut Hunt on Nov. 30 after TMZ.com released a disturbing surveillance video in which the player shoved and kicked a woman in the hallway outside his apartment at the Metropolitan at The 9 in downtown Cleveland.

No charges have been filed stemming from the February 2018 incident, but Hunt will be suspended by the NFL. The league's network reported he faces a suspension of at least six games.

When Dorsey was the GM of the Chiefs, he used a third-round pick on the University of Toledo product, who led the league with 1,327 rushing yards as a rookie and made the Pro Bowl. At the time of his release last season, he had 824 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns (seven rushing and seven receiving) through 11 games.

Dorsey, who has a track record of gambling on troubled players, released the following statement about the move:

 

"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. 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.

"We fully understand and respect the complexity of questions and issues in signing a player with Kareem's history and do not condone his actions. Given what we know about Kareem through our extensive research, we believe he deserves a second chance but certainly with the understanding that he has to go through critical and essential steps to become a performing member of this organization, aside from what the NFL determines from their ongoing investigation. We fully understand that Kareem is subject to discipline by the NFL. Here at the Browns, there is a detailed plan with expectations laid out that he understands and must follow, because any similar incident will not be tolerated. We will support Kareem through this process and utilize our resources, however permitted, to help him become successful on and off the field as long as he continues to show the commitment necessary to represent this organization."

The NFL is considering two other off-field incidents as it decides punishment for Hunt, ESPN reported, one in June at the Bay Lodging Resort on Put-in-Bay island and in another at a nightclub in Kansas City. He has met with league investigators about all three incidents, NFL Network reported. A league spokesman confirmed there is an ongoing NFL investigation centered on Hunt, who's on the commissioner's exempt list.

Hunt, 23, acknowledged in a December interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters he lied to the Chiefs about the fight inside the Metropolitan at The 9. He also conceded "the Chiefs did what was right" by cutting him.

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