Before the Browns signed running back Kareem Hunt, plenty of teams considered adding him. The Lions were one of those teams, and they ultimately decided not to pursue Hunt.
“We evaluate every player on the field and off the field and in this case, we talked about internally,” G.M. Bob Quinn said at a forum for season-ticket holders, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “It was just a player that we didn’t feel comfortable bringing to the Lions for numerous issues, and I stand by that. That’s my word and I want good players and I want good people in this organization.”
The Chiefs waived Hunt after video emerged in November 2018 of an altercation in a hallway of a Cleveland hotel from February of that year. Hunt was seen in the video shoving and kicking a woman.
“Obviously when [Hunt] was released towards the end of the season, every team in the league had the opportunity to claim him . . . and actually be on a cheaper contract than he signed today,” Quinn said.
He’s right, but any team that would have claimed him in November would have been required to pay his salary while on the Commissioner Exempt list. The Browns will pay Hunt nothing until he’s reinstated, assuming that any suspension is finalized before the start of the regular season.
The Lions arguably don’t need Hunt; rookie Kerryon Johnson became a solid performer in 2018. But Hunt led the league in rushing in his own rookie year of 2017, and his talent is undeniable. Which is precisely why he’s getting a second chance.