NFL Insider Sets Stage for Ex-Chiefs Reunion: Report

Kareem Hunt

Getty Free agent running back Kareem Hunt with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018.

Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt is still available on the open market, along with several other big-name veteran RBs.

It’s been a slow-developing market at the position considering the wide gap between what players seemingly want to get paid, and what NFL front offices are willing to pay them. Because of that, a lot of established contributors like Hunt are stuck in no man’s land, waiting on the next chapter of their respective careers to begin.

There was a rumbling regarding Hunt on June 15, however, as CBS Sports NFL insider Josina Anderson reported that “I’m told the [Washington] Commanders have quietly been making some preliminary inquiries behind-the-scenes on free agent RB Kareem Hunt, per league source.”

“We’ll see if this leads to an opportunity for Hunt with Washington,” she added. Anderson’s tweet was the first legitimate news on the ex-Chiefs star playmaker in quite some time.

Ex-Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt & Eric Bieniemy Could Reunite With Commanders

This report does make some sense, considering Hunt’s former offensive coordinator (2018) and running backs coach (2017) is now overseeing the Commanders offense. That, of course, is current Washington OC and assistant head coach Eric Bieniemy.

Hunt ran for 1,327 yards and eight touchdowns with Bieniemy as his RBs coach during his rookie season and made the Pro Bowl — entering the league as a third rounder out of Toledo. He registered 1,782 scrimmage yards and 11 total touchdowns that year and was a legitimate star in Kansas City.

Hunt was in the process of putting together another stellar campaign in 2018 (824 rushing yards, 378 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns in 11 games) when he was released by the Chiefs due to an incident in Cleveland that was caught on video.

After an initial suspension by the league, Hunt eventually returned as a member of the Cleveland Browns, spending the next four years as a tandem-back for Nick Chubb. His best season with the Browns amounted to 1,145 scrimmage yards and 11 total TDs in 2020, but the other three campaigns were nowhere near that level of production.

With Bieniemy, Hunt could hope to regain some of the magic he once displayed in KC, while the Commanders would add experience inside a young RB room.

Washington has six running backs on the roster at the moment according to their website, four of which are under the age of 25 (Brian Robinson, Antonio Gibson, Jaret Patterson and rookie Chris Rodriguez Jr.). The vets of the unit are fullback Alex Armah and seven-year NFL journeyman Jonathan Williams.

It’s a pretty strong group, but one that might be missing familiarity within the system. After all, coaches always like to bring in their own guys when they take over during a regime change, and Bieniemy — a former NFL running back and RBs coach in his own right — was pretty much handed the keys to the entire Washington offense this spring.

Chiefs RB Room Could Still Be Looking to Add More Talent

Former Los Angeles Rams draft pick Darrell Henderson was reportedly present at Chiefs mandatory minicamp on a tryout basis. Although he has yet to sign, his attendance signals that KC is still considering another RB addition ahead of training camp.

Behind second-year starter Isiah Pacheco, the current unit includes former first-round talent Clyde Edwards-Helaire, veteran third-down back Jerick McKinnon, promising undrafted rookie Deneric Prince, former New York Jets draft pick La’Mical Perine and 2022 UDFA Jerrion Ealy.

That’s not a bad group by any means, but there is room for improvement.

The organization is unlikely to consider Hunt — based on optics — but they might be willing to bring in someone like Henderson on the cheap. Outside of the really big names, ex-Chiefs RB Darrel Williams and former division rivals like Kenyan Drake, Royce Freeman and Justin Jackson headline the list of cost-effective ball-carriers that are still available in free agency.

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