Kevin Stefanski: Kareem Hunt trade request not a distraction; Hunt rejoins team drills

BEREA, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Well, that escalated quickly.

Kareem Hunt’s team reps camp holdout the last two days has quickly escalated into a trade request Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported Sunday morning. The Browns are denying the request according to Cabot.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski downplayed the negative impact Hunt’s request may have as the Browns continue preparations for the upcoming season.

“We’re working. No distraction,” Stefanski said Sunday, a half hour before the Browns held their 10th practice of training camp.

While Stefanski would not say if Hunt would practice Sunday, Hunt handled his usual workload during individual and positional drills before jumping in for the second snap of team work.

The in-camp hold-in lasted two practices.

Stefanski tried downplaying the situation, referring to things as “normal.”

But are they?

There’s no shortage of drama with the Browns and Hunt’s trade request adds to it as the team braces for the possibility of their $230 million quarterback being banned for the 2022 season if the NFL wins their appeal of Sue L. Robinson’s six-game suspension.

And now the Hunt situation.

“I would tell you respectfully, we really do focus on what we can control,” Stefanski said. “I understand that there’s things that happen that certainly get attention, and that’s okay. This is a great game. I know our fans love this game and follow every step along the way but for us, we really are focused on trying to get better. We’re not where we need to be, and we got a lot of work to do so that’s what we’re focusing on.”

Hunt is entering the final year of his contract that will pay him $6.25 million this season but he has been looking for an extension and some security.

In three seasons with the Browns, Hunt has totaled 2,169 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns in 32 games but in two of the three years he’s played in just eight games – his first to serve an eight-game suspension for violating the conduct policy for his off the field behavior, including a video showing him shoving and kicking a woman outside a residence in downtown Cleveland.

Last season Hunt was limited to eight games due to injuries.

EVP/GM Andrew Berry drafted Jerome Ford in the fifth round this year in addition to bringing back restricted free agent D’Ernest Johnson, who has averaged over five yards per carry in his young career.

“Excited about that room,” Stefanski said. “A ton of talent. We’ve got veterans, we’ve got young guys, I think Stump [Mitchell] does a great job with that crew, as you know, so they're working really hard and they're gonna continue to do that.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Nick Cammett/Getty Images