Kareem Hunt #27 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Playing with one-year left on his deal, Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt has demanded a trade or extension. Who could call the Cleveland Browns for a deal?
In the span of less than 24 hours, the Cleveland Browns running back room has turned a corner and an unexpected one at that.
The duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt has been widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, backfield pairing in the NFL this season. However, that could be changing.
Playing in the last year of his current deal, Kareem Hunt reportedly demanded a new contract or a trade. Hunt just turned 27 years old on the same day he made the demand and is entering his sixth NFL season and fourth in Cleveland.
CLEVELAND, OHIO – OCTOBER 17: Kareem Hunt #27 of the Cleveland Browns runs with the ball during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
The demand shouldn’t come with too much surprise. Hunt has been a solid addition to Cleveland’s team since arriving in 2019 and was a standout in Kansas City during his first two seasons in the league.
Off-the-field issues temporarily derailed Hunt’s career, but it was Cleveland who gave him another chance.
Now, the Cleveland-native is looking for his next move. Being partnered with Chubb in Cleveland’s backfield has allowed Hunt to have fewer miles on him than most backs of his caliber and age. However, that’s also held Hunt back from being able to fully cash in on his abilities.
A contract extension could keep Hunt in Cleveland, but given the team’s investments in other players and the potential of D’Ernest Johnson to fill the role, that seems unlikely. The rise of Johnson also raises the question if Hunt is needed in the offense.
While the Browns’ front office has said they won’t trade Hunt, there are reasons to believe it could happen. With Johnson and other backs in Cleveland, Hunt’s role could be filled.
Additionally, the organization needs to recoup lost draft assets for the Deshaun Watson trade.
If Cleveland does decide to abide by Hunt’s demands and trade the running back, what teams could be on the other side of the deal?