After the Kansas City Chiefs made the decision to release star running back Kareem Hunt because of a domestic violence charge in 2018, many wondered if the promising football talent would ever play again.
In the end, he did, receiving his second chance with a championship-hungry Cleveland Browns franchise. The same organization made similar waves this offseason when they traded for quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Despite these moves, the Browns have yet to win anything, however, and Kansas City has since raised a Super Bowl banner in 2019 and back-to-back AFC titles in 2019 and 2020. To make matters worse for Cleveland, Hunt is now requesting a trade amid contract negotiations.
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More Trouble in Cleveland
This recent development began on August 6 when NFL insider Josina Anderson reported that Hunt is “currently seeking a contract extension.”
She continued: “[He] did not participate in team drills for the second consecutive practice on Saturday. Hunt told the team multiple times recently, his current plan is to participate in individual drills only. Friday marked the first time since training camp started that Hunt didn’t participate in the team portion of practice, per league sources. Their belief is Hunt’s partial ‘hold-in’ isn’t health-related. Hunt is subject to fines from the club. Hunt’s agent was at the Browns facility earlier this week per sources. I’ve been told several times Hunt periodically has said to members of the team informally –he wants to get paid or traded.”
Earlier today on August 7, Browns beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot followed up with breaking news: “Hunt has asked the Browns to trade him — and they’ve told him no; his best strategy would be to kill it for them this season and earn his next contract.”
Despite these requests, the dynamic playmaker did participate in team drills on the 7th, per CBS Sports reporter Jonathan Jones.
ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler broke down the tense stalemate in Ohio: “The Browns don’t plan to trade Kareem Hunt, but Hunt will likely have trade value if Cleveland chooses to explore it. *Just turned 27.* Relatively low workload: 772 carries over five seasons. *Some league personnel evaluators consider him a top-10 talent at the position.”
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Hunt-Like Rookie Shining in Camp
There has been some general chatter on Chiefs Twitter over the weekend involving a speculatory Hunt return to KC via trade, but that may not be necessary considering this coaching staff has already found a new versatile backfield speedster and home run threat.
Since being selected in round seven, rookie RB Isiah Pacheco has been compared to Hunt. It’s the blazing speed combined with the tough running and appealing receiving ability that link the two players — as well as the KC draft history.
“We’re watching a long drive period with the first-team offense, and though [Clyde Edwards-Helaire] was out there first, already two touches for Isiah Pacheco,” Sweeney informed. “I’m beginning to wonder if he can be the RB2 on this club by the time camp breaks.”
It’s been an incredible rookie start for Pacheco considering his late-round status. The first-year ball carrier seems to reveal a new skill on a daily basis, from kick returning to vision and hands. He made a ridiculous grab on a wheel route from Patrick Mahomes that went viral on August 4.
Now he’s stealing reps from veterans like Ronald Jones II and Jerick McKinnon. It will be interesting to see what Pacheco accomplishes next as his breakout summer continues.