So what would it take for the Rams to pry Kareem Hunt from the Browns as a Rams possible Cam Akers replacement?
In short — a lot.
In the latest edition of Hey, Mary Kay on the Orange and Brown Talk Podcast, insider Mary Kay Cabot broke down what a possible deal for the running back could look like.
“I’ll tell you what. If you had to put a number on it, you’d have to go first-round pick. He’s that valuable to the Cleveland Browns right now,” Cabot said. “You saw what happened last year. Nick Chubb missed four games and they really didn’t miss a beat.”
Hunt rushed for 841 yards on 198 carries last season, a 4.2 yards per carry average. He also caught 38 balls for 304 yards and notched 11 total touchdowns. Despite missing four games, Chubb still made the Pro Bowl, rushing for 1067 yards and 12 touchdowns. While Chubb was out, Hunt started games against the Steelers, Colts, Raiders and Bengals.
“They played some of the best run defenses when Nick was out. You look at it and think ‘Kareem did not produce how Nick does.’ But you have to take into account that they played the better run defenses during that stretch, so he wasn’t out there getting 120 yards per game,” Cabot said. “There are very few tandems like this in the NFL, where one guy can leave and the other guy can just step in there and completely get the job done.”
Rams Would Have to Give Browns ‘The Moon’ for Hunt
Hunt gives the Browns a different dimension on offense with his skill set, contributing in the passing game and as a change of pace to Chubb. That’s not to mention the two backs have worked together swimmingly, not complaining about carries or roles.
The Browns have built what many see as a Super Bowl contending roster so there’s little chance the team gives up a valuable piece for a future asset, with Cleveland in win-now mode.
“In a year where you are really trying to get to the Super Bowl, that is not a player you want to give up. Not only is he an excellent runner, as we all know, but he can do so many more things,” Cabot said of Hunt. “I think the package for him this year will be expanded greatly. It just seems obvious to me that you have to. There’s so much more that he’s capable of doing.”
Cabot reiterated any trade for Hunt would take a massive return package.
“The price would be extraordinarily high,” Cabot added. “You’d have to give them the moon.”
Cabot: Kareem Hunt Brings ‘Revenge’ Factor
The Browns open the season against the Chiefs — Hunt’s former team who eliminated Cleveland in the postseason a year ago.
In his first two seasons in Kansas City, Hunt racked up 2,151 rushing yards and 833 receiving yards. He made the Pro Bowl in 2017 as the league’s leading rusher and was on pace for another strong season before being let go by Kansas City.
The Chiefs made the decision to release Hunt after video emerged of him allegedly striking a woman in a Cleveland hotel was made public. The team said Hunt was not truthful in their discussions about the situation, leading to his release.
Hunt called the matchup with the Chiefs in the postseason last year “personal” and Cabot thinks the extra motivation he brings to the table against what could be the Browns’ top competition in the AFC is important.
“When you’re looking at trying to get to the Super Bowl, you have to look at small details you might not think about. One thing to think about here is Kareem Hunt playing against the Chiefs,” Hunt said. “There’s a lot of heart and soul that goes into that. There’s this whole revenge factor thing and he would try to put the Cleveland Browns on his back to beat the Chiefs. You could see last year how much it meant to him.”
Hunt won’t have to wait long to see the Chiefs this season. The two AFC powers face off in Week 1.