Chubb and Hunt have teamed up in Cleveland for the last four seasons, forming a friendship as they propelled the Browns’ ground game. While Chubb has established himself as one of the best backs in the NFL, Hunt’s final season with the Browns didn’t go as planned. He finished with 468 yards on 123 carries and his overall effectiveness was dropped. Hunt’s per-carry average of 3.8 was the worst of his career and there are concerns that the one-time rushing leader has lost a step, per Terry Pluto of cleveland.com.
Hunt has seen limited free agent interest and remains without a team. Chubb has been in touch with Hunt but his future in football has not been a topic of conversation, per the Browns’ All-Pro back.
“I haven’t talked too much about football [with Hunt],” Chubb told reporters at minicamp on Wednesday, June 7. “Kareem’s like a brother to me, so we’ve got a lot of things to talk about other than football right now. But he’s doing great. He’s from Cleveland, so he’s around here, he’s training, getting ready for whatever happens.”
Browns Still Open to Potentially Bringing Kareem Hunt Back
The Browns have not closed the door on bringing back Hunt, although general manager Andrew Berry spoke in generalities when asked specifically about a reunion.
“I don’t think we’ve necessarily shut the door on anything,” Berry said on April 21. “We’re not playing games until September, so we’ll remain open-minded to anything that can help the team.”
At this point, Hunt could likely be had at a bargain bin price, which is a tough reality for the former rushing leader. He briefly held out last season in search of a new deal, later asking for a trade, which the Browns quickly shot down.
“I hope I get paid,” Hunt said last year in June as he eyed an extension. “Whatever they decide, they know I’m going to come out there and give it my all and I’ll do whatever I can to help the team win.”
Browns Urged by Insider to Bring Kareem Hunt Back
A good argument can be made for the Browns to bring Hunt back. He knows the offense, clearly has good chemistry with Chubb and is a solid pass-catching option out of the backfield when healthy.
The Browns don’t have proven running back depth, with Jerome Ford set to take over the role Hunt previously played. The Browns are a Chubb injury away from things potentially going sideways — even if the offense is more pass-heavy next season.
Jeff Schudel of The News-Herald believes Hunt is still a solid fit for the Browns.
“They can get by with one stud and a spare part,” Schudel wrote. “This isn’t a knock on Jerome Ford, but it is difficult to believe the Browns will be better pairing Ford with Chubb than Hunt with Chubb. Plus, Hunt is better as a receiver than Chubb, Ford or Demetric Felton. Hunt caught 53 passes as a rookie with the Chiefs in 2017 when he led the league with 1,327 rushing yards.”
Hunt is still just 27 years old and if he can regain his form, it’d be tremendous for Cleveland. During his four seasons with the Browns, Hunt gained 1,874 yards rushing, 973 receiving yards and 23 total touchdowns.