Cowboys Proposed as Suitor for Former Rushing Leader in Free Agency

Kareem Hunt

Getty Images Kareem Hunt of the Cleveland Browns.

The Dallas Cowboys enter the offseason with some questions in their backfield and Kareem Hunt is a name that’s been floated as a free agent option.

Hunt is coming off a down season with the Cleveland Browns but has a strong resume. He led the league in rushing as a rookie with the Kansas City Chiefs and is an asset both as a runner and receiver.

But Hunt does come with concerns, stemming from an off-field incident in 2018 that led to his release from Kansas City. In a video released by TMZ, Hunt was shown physically assaulting a woman in a hotel. Cleveland gave him a second chance and he’s mostly been able to stay out of the news since.

Hunt was pitched as an option for the Cowboys by Patrik Walker of the team’s official site, although he acknowledged his reputation is something to consider.

“Yep, you’re reading my mind if you see this name and immediately think to yourself, ‘… but those off-the-field issues.’ I agree, wholeheartedly, but we also can agree that the Cowboys aren’t risk-adverse to such a thing if they deem the reward might outweigh it convincingly,” Walker wrote. “It’s in that spirit that I feel I have to put Hunt on this list of options because, from the standpoint of production, he can most definitely get the job done between the lines.”

Kareem Hunt Ready for Fresh Start After Down Season

Hunt finished last season with 468 yards on 123 carries. He also added 35 catches but wasn’t the nice change of pace to Nick Chubb that he was in the past. His per-carry average of 3.8 was the worst of his career and his opportunities tapered off towards the end of the year. He had more than five carries just once over the final five games.

Hunt asked for a trade prior to the season, which the Browns were quick to shoot down. He was involved in rumors around the trade deadline but Cleveland ultimately opted to hang onto him.

Hunt will be an unrestricted free agent and he’s likely to move on from his hometown Browns. While he enjoyed his partnership with Chubb, it’s clear the perennial Pro Bowler will get the majority of the work going forward. Chubb is coming off a fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season, racking up 1,525 yards.

Cowboys Face Decisions on Elliott & Pollard

The Cowboys had a strong pairing in Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott last season but the team faces decisions with both this offseason. Pollard is a free agent and is going to have to rehab hard this offseason after suffering a fractured leg and ankle injury during the Cowboys’ Divisional Round loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

The most likely route is the Cowboys franchise tag on Pollard, with a potential extension on the table if he maintains the Pro Bowl form he showed last season.

The talk around Elliott’s future has been well documented, with the three-time Pro Bowler and former rushing leader likely needing to massively restructure his contract to stick around. He will account for a cap hit of $16.7 million next season but the Cowboys could cut him as a post-June 1 designation to lower that number to $5.82 million.

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