Browns take chance on trou­bled RB Hunt

Ac­cused run­ning back, sub­ject of league probe, signs with Cleve­land

The Dallas Morning News - - Sportsday -

Cleve­land signed Ka­reem Hunt to a one­year con­tract, giv­ing the for­mer star Chiefs run­ning back a sec­ond chance af­ter a video showed him push­ing and kick­ing a woman.

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

Fol­low­ing their own in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the Browns signed Hunt to a one­year con­tract Mon­day, giv­ing the for­mer star Kansas City 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 at the Browns’ head­quar­ters, hours af­ter the team 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 the 23year­old Hunt, who was seen in a phys­i­cal al­ter­ca­tion with the woman last Fe­bru­ary dur­ing an ar­gu­ment in the lobby of a Cleve­land ho­tel.

The move put Hunt’s ca­reer in peril and placed him on the com­mis­sioner’s ex­empt list. He was in his sec­ond sea­son with the Chiefs and one of their best play­ers af­ter lead­ing the league in rush­ing as a rookie.

Hunt, who sought treat­ment and coun­sel­ing, could still 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.

Un­til the league’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion is com­pleted, the Browns won’t know if or when he’ll be able to play. Hunt has not been charged with a crime.

Pan­thers sign Reid: Eric Reid has signed a three­year 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 Mon­day he be­lieves he got “fair mar­ket value” af­ter mak­ing just $1.69 mil­lion last sea­son from the Pan­thers.

“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 wasn’t signed last off­sea­son as a di­rect re­sult of his de­ci­sion to kneel for the na­tional an­them along­side for­mer team­mate Colin Kaeper­nick in protest of so­cial and racial in­jus­tice.

Noted ref­eree dies: For­mer NFL ref­eree Red Cash­ion, a Texas A&M prod­uct known for his vo­cif­er­ous calls of “First down!” died Sun­day. He was 87.

Cash­ion re­tired from the NFL in 1997 af­ter of­fi­ci­at­ing for 25 years, 21 of them as a ref­eree. He worked two Su­per Bowls.

John Sleezer/ Kansas City Star

Run­ning back Ka­reem Hunt signed a con­tract with Cleve­land, though it’s un­cer­tain when and if he can play as the NFL is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing as­sault al­le­ga­tions against him.

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