Free Agency Prediction Brings Kareem Hunt Back to Browns

Getty Free agent running back Kareem Hunt.

The Cleveland Browns did not take a running back in this year’s NFL Draft, leaving the door open for a potential Kareem Hunt reunion.

Coming off a down year in Cleveland, Hunt has received very limited interest as a free agent. The one-time rushing leader had hoped to cash in with a chance at a starting gig but it hasn’t manifested for the 27-year-old running back.

With his options limited and the Browns’ depth chart needing a veteran presence, Hunt returning to Cleveland on a cheap, one-year deal prior to camp could be in the cards. Bleacher Report recently broke down the current free agent running back market and predicted that Hunt would return to the Browns.

“The Browns didn’t draft a complementary back over the weekend and could use depth behind Chubb and Jerome Ford, especially since they also lost D’Ernest Johnson in free agency,” B/R’s Kristopher Knox wrote. “While teams like Buffalo, Tampa and the Arizona Cardinals could have some interest, a return to Cleveland might make the most sense for Hunt since he knows the offense and the personnel, assuming he’s content to be a backup.”

Hunt finished last season with 468 yards on 123 carries, with his overall effectiveness as a change of pace to Nick Chubb falling off. His per-carry average of 3.8 was the worst of his career and his opportunities tapered off later in the year.

Browns Have Not Slammed Door on Kareem Hunt Reunion

Browns general manager Andrew Berry was asked about a potential reunion with Hunt prior to the draft and didn’t slam the door on the idea.

“I don’t know that we’ve necessarily shut the door on anything,” Berry said. “Look, we’re not playing games until September, so we’ll remain open-minded to anything that can help the team.”

That being said, Berry was also very complimentary of the players the Browns have on the roster currently, including Chubb and second-year back Jerome Ford, who is expected to take on a larger role this season.

“We like the room that we have, obviously, Nick leads it. Pleased with Jerome’s (Ford) progress over the last year,” Berry said. “John Kelly, [Nate] McCreary, Demetric (Felton), taking reps there.”

The Browns drafted Ford last season with the idea that he could take on a larger role going forward. Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson — who is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars — were slated to be free agents and the door is now open for Ford to take on more of a workload. Ford notched recorded just eight carries for 12 yards last season.

Browns Sign UDFA Hassan Hall

Hassan Hall

GettyHassan Hall signed an UDFA deal with the Browns.

The Browns did make an addition to the running back room in undrafted free agent Hassan Hall. The Georgia Tech back signed with Cleveland shortly after the draft on a deal with $125,000 guaranteed, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Hall notched 521 yards last season as the lead back with the Yellow Jackets. He also caught 28 passes for 165 yards. Here’s the pre-draft breakdown on Hall via

“Hall runs with good physicality and has an explosive burst. He doesn’t create with his vision, but he can gather additional yardage with athleticism and contact toughness. His poor pass protection on tape will work against him, though. Hall will be a long shot to make a team, but his pro day testing and flashes on tape could earn him a camp opportunity.”

With the draft over, the Browns still have some work to do as they get their roster into shape for training camp. Only time will tell if Hunt is in their plans.

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