The Cleveland Browns have brought back Kareem Hunt to bolster their backfield after the devastating season-ending injury to All-Pro running back Nick Chubb. This move comes as a much-needed addition to the team, as Chubb’s absence leaves a significant void in the offense. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, a source close to the matter revealed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Hunt signed a one-year contract worth up to $4 million.
Hunt and Chubb previously played together for four seasons, forming one of the most formidable running back duos in the NFL. Their combination of speed, agility, and versatility made them a nightmare for opposing defenses. Now, with Chubb sidelined, Hunt will have the opportunity to step up and contribute significantly to the team’s success.
Jerome Ford, a second-year running back, initially replaced Hunt as Chubb’s backup this season. However, Hunt’s familiarity with the Browns’ offense and his previous chemistry with the team played a crucial role in Cleveland’s decision to target him as a replacement. While Ford is expected to take on the role of the lead back, having Hunt’s experience and skill set will undoubtedly provide a much-needed boost to the Browns’ rushing attack.
During his time with the Browns from 2019 to 2022, Hunt showcased his talent and versatility. He rushed for an impressive 1,874 yards, averaging 4.2 yards per carry, and scored 16 rushing touchdowns. Additionally, he proved himself as a threat in the passing game, catching 132 passes for 973 yards and seven touchdowns.
As a native of the Cleveland area, Hunt’s return to the Browns carries even greater significance. His connection to the community and the team adds an extra layer of excitement and anticipation for fans and teammates alike.
After requesting a trade last year when the Browns declined to extend his contract, Hunt’s future with the team seemed uncertain. Despite visits with multiple teams, including the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts, Hunt remained a free agent until now. This signing not only provides him with an opportunity to prove himself on the field but also signifies the team’s belief in his ability to contribute and make a difference.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski acknowledged the challenge of replacing a player of Nick Chubb’s caliber. He emphasized that Chubb’s absence leaves a significant void in the team but expressed confidence in the ability of the entire team to step up and fill the gap collectively. While Hunt’s signing brings much-needed depth to the backfield, the team understands that it will take a collective effort to compensate for Chubb’s absence.
The Cleveland Browns’ decision to bring back Kareem Hunt as a response to Nick Chubb’s season-ending injury is a significant move that bolsters the team’s backfield. With his familiarity with the team and the offense, as well as his impressive stats and hometown connection, Hunt’s return has generated excitement and optimism among Browns fans. While he cannot solely replace Chubb’s impact, his addition, alongside Jerome Ford and the rest of the team, will undoubtedly play a vital role in the Browns’ pursuit of success.