CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Kareem Hunt is back.
Hunt, who had been a free agent, has re-signed with the Cleveland Browns the team announced.
“It's a familiarity that Kareem has with our offense,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said. “It's also our familiarity with Kareem and his ability and the run types, the pass types that he excels at. So I think both things in this instance help us.”
Hunt gets a one-year deal worth up to $4 million according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Hunt’s return followed the season-ending knee injury to running back Nick Chub Monday night in Pittsburgh. Chubb, who was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, will require surgery on his left knee – the same knee he injured in 2015 at Georgia.
Hunt worked out for the Browns on Tuesday, which Stefanski watched.
“He looked in good shape,” Stefanski said. “As you guys know, there's football shape and there's working out to stay ready shape, so I'm sure he is going to come along this week and we'll see where he is. But he looks to be in good shape.”
Cleveland chose not to extend Hunt in August 2022 that saw the rusher not participate in team drills for a day to try and spur negotiations for a new deal to no avail or re-sign him in March when the new league year began.
But with Chubb facing surgery, Hunt was the best option available on the street.
“Obviously Nick Chubb being unavailable factored into this decision and Kareem knows that,” Stefanski said. “And Kareem feels as sick about Nick's injury as anybody, but this is the situation that we're in, the circumstances, so I think Kareem's excited about the opportunity.”
Hunt is expected to be the No. 2 back behind Jerome Ford, who ran for 106 yards and caught a touchdown in Monday night’s loss but his availability for Sunday’s game at home against the Tennessee titans remains to be seen.
“Jerome is the lead back,” Stefanski said. “But we have to work through all of those type of things and what Kareem's ready to do this week if he's ready to go this week, and what type of load he can carry and Pierre Strong. So I think we need to work through all of that. But yes, Jerome is the starter.”
In four seasons with the Browns, Hunt appeared in 49 games with nine starts where he rushed for 1,824 yards with 16 touchdowns. He also caught 132 passes for 973 yards and seven more scores.