Browns Proposed Trade Ships Running Back to NFC East Contender

Getty Images Kareem Hunt of the Cleveland Browns.

There Cleveland Browns have a crowded backfield but a new proposed trade would thin out their depth by shipping out Kareem Hunt while getting a key piece in return.

The deal proposed by Bleacher Report would see Hunt land with the Philadelphia Eagles for offensive tackle Andre Dillard and a 2023 sixth-round pick. Here’s what Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton said about the deal:

Hunt is an excellent rusher and receiver who is capable of attaining an elite stat line. He’s so comfortable as a receiver that it’s surprising the Browns didn’t use him in the slot more often when their receiving room was decimated. We’d love to see Hunt in a bigger role.

The Eagles are the premier landing spot for Hunt. Though he’d split time with starter Miles Sanders, Hunt would enter an offense that is run-heavy and creative enough to utilize him in various roles. Hunt’s power would complement Sanders’ slashing style well, and he could be another receiving threat for Jalen Hurts.

Browns RB D’Ernest Johnson Opened Door for Deal

Hunt dealt with both calf and ankle injuries last year, forcing him to miss nine games. But the former NFL rushing leader has huge upside when healthy, with more than 5,150 yards from scrimmage and 44 touchdowns to his name over a five-year NFL career.

Hunt comes with a $6.25 million cap hit this season and the Browns would suffer no dead cap money if they parted ways with him. While talented, Hunt is in the final year of his deal and may not be someone Cleveland can keep around next season when cap space will be harder to come by.

There’s also the fact that the Browns have the depth to deal with Hunt not being on the roster thanks to D’Ernest Johnson returning.

Johnson had refused to sign his unrestricted free agent tender with the Browns but ended up agreeing to a deal worth the same value of $2.43 million, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. However, the difference is his guaranteed money, which comes in at $900,000.Johnson capitalized on his opportunities when his number was called upon last season, notching 534 yards on 100 carries with three touchdowns. He also collected 19 receptions for 137 yards.

Browns Still Hoping OT Jack Conklin Good for Training Camp

As for Dillard, he’d give the Browns a very capable backup, or even a part-time starter if veteran Jack Conklin misses time. Cleveland is currently working out swing tackle Chris Hubbard to hold down the spot if Conklin is out, but a youthful piece with upside in Dillard would be welcomed.

The Browns are hoping Conklin will be able to get in some work during training camp in late July and August to get ready for the year.

“We will see in training camp, but he has been here every day,” Stefanski said of Conklin during mandatory minicamp. “He is working really really hard. I think he is transforming his body. I think he is getting stronger. As you know, Jack has attacked this rehab, but him being here and being around his teammates has been important. Where that looks, I do not know, but I am very confident that he is on schedule.”

However, even if Conklin is ready, his recent injury history is troubling. He was placed on the IR with an elbow injury early in the year and then saw his season wiped out by a ruptured patellar tendon upon his return. He restructured his deal this offseason to remain in Cleveland on a more team-friendly contract.

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