The Cleveland Browns have been shopping veteran running back Kareem Hunt and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been cited as a suitor for his services.
Hunt is in the final year of his deal and one of the most valuable trade chips that the 2-5 Browns have available. If Cleveland decides to move Hunt, the Bucs — who rank last in the NFL in rushing yards per game at 61.9 — will surely be in the mix.
In an article breaking down bold trades for the November 1 deadline, Bleacher Report sees the Buccaneers landing Hunt for some draft capital, hoping the former rushing leader can give them a spark. Here’s what B/R had to say about a potential deal:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in dire need of a shot in the arm. The Cleveland Browns have a player who could help them recoup draft capital in running back Kareem Hunt.
Leonard Fournette has been unable to get going behind a Bucs offensive line that has struggled on the interior. Still, the Bucs leaned on him heavily early in the season, with Fournette registering over 20 carries in three of the team’s first six games.
Fournette has 386 yards on 112 carries this season with a pair of touchdowns. He’s averaging just 3.4 yards per carry. He’s also added 37 catches for 273 yards and three more touchdowns.
Hunt’s Opportunity With Browns Down Amid Losing Streak
Hunt led the NFL in rushing as a rookie in 2017 with the Chiefs and has more than 5,150 yards from scrimmage and 44 touchdowns to his name over a five-year NFL career. He has just 263 yards on 66 carries this season but those numbers are more about lack of opportunity than his talent as a ball carrier.
Hunt sits behind Nick Chubb on the Browns’ depth chart. Chubb currently leads the league in rushing and the Browns have been willing to ride him as much as possible. The duo entered the season really as 1A and 1B options, but that has changed recently, with Hunt notching just nine carries and one catch over the last two weeks.
“I mean, I wouldn’t say it bothers me,” Hunt said on Saturday when asked about his lack of opportunities. “I would love to help the team win but I’m a team guy. My biggest thing is winning and losing and we ain’t doing that. We ain’t winning so.”
While Fournette could still play a role, Hunt’s ability would give Tom Brady and the Bucs’ offense an additional spark it desperately needs. The Bucs are just 3-5 but still have a very good shot at winning the NFC South if they can turn things around.
Rams Also Eyeing Trade for Hunt
Hunt will be a coveted piece for running back needy teams at the deadline and the Los Angeles Rams are another squad that has been in the mix. The Rams have inquired about Hunt, although talks have not escalated to imminent, per Brad Stainbrook of the Orange and Brown Report.
“The Los Angeles Rams have held talks with Cleveland in recent days surrounding Hunt, however, those talks have not escalated to a serious level as Cleveland has yet to receive an offer to their liking,” Stainbrook reported.
The Rams entered the year with Cam Akers as their lead back but the relationship has gone sideways. The defending Super Bowl champs are currently relying on Darrell Henderson Jr., Malcolm Brown and undrafted rookie Ronnie Rivers to carry the load.
Much more will become clearer for the Browns after their Week 8 matchup against the Bengals. If Cleveland falls to 2-6, expect them to be more inclined to make a move.