Rocky River (Ohio) police found marijuana in a car driven by Browns running back Kareem Hunt during a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon, according to an incident report obtained Friday morning by the Beacon Journal.
Hunt was not cited for the marijuana. He was sent on his way after being cited for speeding, going 77 mph in a 60-mph zone westbound on Interstate 90 at the 163-mile marker, said Lt. George Lichman, the Rocky River Police Department's public information officer. Hunt is not required to appear in court, Lichman said.
When Ptl. Mike Asbury pulled Hunt over at about 12:24 p.m. Tuesday, the odor of marijuana coming from inside the car prompted a probable cause search of the vehicle, according to the incident report. Hunt was placed in the rear of a police cruiser while the search was conducted, and, per the incident report, "small amounts of marijuana" were found in three different locations inside a backpack on the car's back seat and seized as evidence.
Although Hunt did not receive a drug charge, he could be subject to discipline from the NFL.
"We are aware of the matter but will decline further comment," league spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an email response.
A Browns spokesman said the club is aware of the traffic stop involving Hunt and is gathering more information.
A Willoughby (Ohio) South High School graduate, Hunt is eligible for restricted free agency in March, meaning as long as the Browns tender him, they'll hold the right of first refusal should another team sign him to an offer sheet. Whether the discovery of marijuana in a vehicle operated by Hunt would dissuade another franchise from attempting to pry him from Cleveland remains to be seen.
It would have been extremely difficult to envision the Browns declining to match any offer for Hunt if John Dorsey were still their general manager, but ownership and Dorsey mutually agreed to part ways on Dec. 31. The Browns have yet to hire Dorsey's successor to pair with their new head coach, Kevin Stefanski, so the organization's appetite to retain Hunt at all costs is a mystery.
Last month, Hunt insisted he wanted to remain with the Browns.
"Ain't no place like home, and this is home for me, so I would love to be in my hometown playing for a long time, maybe finish my career," he said Dec. 27. "That would be something special. You never know. I'm just excited to do whatever it takes. They're going to get a ballplayer."