Browns RB Kareem Hunt trains after demanding trade


NFL

Hunt is in the final season of a two-year, $12 million extension signed in 2020.

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt runs with the ball during NFL football team training camp. David Richard/AP Photo

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — The Cleveland Browns’ training camp has had no shortage of drama due to NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson’s disciplinary case over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Now there’s a new storyline involving running back Kareem Hunt – even though the head coach insists the 27-year-old’s fight for overtime is ‘normal’.

The NFL’s hasty 2017 leader demanded a trade after the team rejected his request for a long-term contract extension, holding himself out of team drills on Friday and Saturday in protest but rejoining on Sunday.

“We’re working, there’s no distractions,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said at the training ground. “I understand there are things going on that definitely get attention, and that’s okay. … It’s normal. It’s NFL football, as far as I know.

Stefanski declined to specifically answer questions about Hunt, as he did about the status of Watson, the starting quarterback who is waiting to see how long he will be suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Hunt is in the final season of a two-year, $12 million extension signed in 2020. If the Cleveland-area native is on the active roster for all 17 games, he will earn $6.25 million this season. .

Stefanski said he wouldn’t say if Hunt was penalized for missing part of camp.

“I’m not going to get into anything that has to do with our players, the conversations I have with our players and that sort of thing,” he added. “If our players are healthy, they train.”

Hunt was productive in his three seasons at Cleveland, but he missed nine games last season with calf and ankle injuries.

He rushed for a record 1,327 yards as a rookie for the Chiefs in 2017. But like Watson, Hunt came to Cleveland with his own baggage. He was suspended by the NFL for the first eight games in 2019 for off-court behavior, including pushing and kicking a woman while with Kansas City.

In 2020, Hunt rushed for 841 yards in 2020 and added 304 receiving yards. He led the team with 11 touchdowns and was a perfect complement piece for Pro Bowl selection Nick Chubb.

The Browns are now as deep as any team in that position, reducing the leverage Hunt perceives.

Pro Bowl selection Nick Chubb rushed for 1,259 yards last season and D’Ernest Johnson is an emerging talent who rushed for 534 as a third stringer. Cleveland also drafted Jerome Ford from Cincinnati in the fifth round.

“All of our guys have to earn a role and carve out a place for themselves,” Stefanski said.



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