Browns sign Hunt, giv­ing ex-Chiefs RB a sec­ond chance

Houston Chronicle - - PRO FOOTBALL -

BEREA, Ohio — The Cleve­land Browns believe there is re­morse in Ka­reem Hunt’s heart. The NFL hasn’t got­ten that far.

Af­ter its in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the team signed Hunt to a one-year con­tract Mon­day, giv­ing the for­mer star Chiefs run­ning back a sec­ond chance af­ter a video showed him push­ing and kick­ing a woman.

“I think we’re all appalled by it,” gen­eral man­ager John Dorsey said hours af­ter the Browns an­nounced the con­tro­ver­sial sign­ing. “It is an egre­gious act. We all un­der­stand that. But af­ter do­ing our re­search, ex­ten­sive re­search, an­a­lyz­ing the sit­u­a­tion, we came to the con­clu­sion that I am will­ing to help a man from a sec­ond chance mov­ing for­ward to be a bet­ter per­son, and that’s all you can ask for in so­ci­ety, and that’s all I’m try­ing to do.”

Soon af­ter the dis­turb­ing video sur­faced in De­cem­ber, Kansas City re­leased Hunt, 23, who was seen in a phys­i­cal al­ter­ca­tion with the woman last Fe­bru­ary dur­ing an ar­gu­ment in the lobby of a Cleve­land ho­tel where he stayed.

While the Chiefs’ ac­tions drew pub­lic sup­port, the move put Hunt’s ca­reer in peril and placed him on the com­mis­sioner’s ex­empt list. He was in his sec­ond sea­son with Kansas City and one of the team’s best play­ers af­ter lead­ing the league in rush­ing as a rookie.

Now, the Browns feel com­fort­able giv­ing the Cleve­land na­tive an op­por­tu­nity to make amends. Hunt, who sought treat­ment and coun­sel­ing, still could be sus­pended by the league un­der its per­sonal con­duct pol­icy for the in­ci­dent and two oth­ers that sur­faced af­ter he was re­leased by the Chiefs.

The league’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing, and un­til it is com­pleted the Browns won’t know if or when he will be able to play. Hunt has not been charged with a crime.

Reid: New deal proof of col­lu­sion

Eric Reid signed a three-year con­tract worth more than $22 mil­lion with the Carolina Pan­thers — a deal the safety be­lieves is ad­di­tional proof that NFL own­ers con­spired to keep him out of the league last sea­son.

Reid said he be­lieves he got “fair-mar­ket value” af­ter mak­ing just $1.69 mil­lion last sea­son with Carolina.

“If any­thing, it proves my point from last year,” Reid said. “I didn’t sign un­til the (fourth) week and did for al­most the league min­i­mum. And this year I signed a more sub­stan­tial con­tract. And noth­ing has changed. I’m still the same player.”

Reid still has a col­lu­sion case pend­ing against NFL own­ers, al­leg­ing that he was not signed last off­sea­son as a di­rect re­sult of his de­ci­sion to kneel for the na­tional an­them along­side for­mer San Fran­cisco team­mate Colin Kaeper­nick in protest of so­cial and racial in­jus­tice.

The NFL will de­cide if Ka­reem Hunt will play for the Browns in 2019.

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