Browns General Manager John Dorsey drafted Kareem Hunt when he held the same job in Kansas City and he said Hunt “deserves a second chance” in explaining why the Browns signed Hunt to a one-year deal on Monday.
That second chance will likely eat into the playing time of another running back that Dorsey selected in the 2018 draft. The Browns nabbed Nick Chubb with a second-round pick and handed him the lead role in the backfield when they traded Carlos Hyde to the Jaguars in October.
Chubb ran for 823 yards on 176 carries after Hyde was sent packing and his pairing with first-round pick Baker Mayfield helped spur the Browns to a winning record in the second half of the season. How much that pairing is impacted will be determined by the league office.
Hunt is almost certainly going to be suspended for the multiple off-field incidents in 2018, including shoving and kicking a woman, that led the Chiefs to cut him and led the league to put him on the Commissioner Exempt list last year. Chubb will get to continue in his 2018 role as long as Hunt is out of the picture and continued success for him and/or the team is going to make it hard for anything to change on that front.
Hunt’s arrival may wind up having a bigger impact on Duke Johnson, who has largely seen action in the passing game during his time in Cleveland. Chubb didn’t contribute much as a receiver while Hunt has 10 touchdown catches over his 27 games in the NFL, so that would seem to be the easiest path to integrating him into the lineup once he’s eligible to resume his playing career. That could also include formations with both backs as the Browns try to put as much talent on the field as possible.
Where things go from there is anybody’s guess, but there’s not much reason to think Chubb’s role will be changing early in the 2019 season.