Kareem Hunt deal gives Browns no financial risk

Getty Images

If the Browns had claimed running back Kareem Hunt on waivers in November, they would have paid him to not play for the last month of the 2018 season. By signing Hunt now, the Browns likely will be paying Hunt nothing — until he’s cleared to play.

While Hunt is on the Commissioner Exempt list, the Brown will be paying him while he’s not eligible to play only if his suspension under the Personal Conduct Policy isn’t finalized until the start of the regular season, which is highly unlikely. If/when the suspension is announced and appealed before Week One, the Browns won’t be paying Hunt while Hunt serves his suspension.

It’s still not clear how long he’ll be suspended. He faces a pair of investigations: One arising from February 2018 (for which there’s video) and one that allegedly happened in June 2018 (for which there’s no video, yet). The league could suspend him for both events, and each incident could be treated as an aggravating factor for the other incident.

Basically, the league can (and will) do whatever it wants, with Hunt having little or no legal recourse, other than his internal appeal rights. Between the 2015-16 Tom Brady litigation and the 2017 Ezekiel Elliott litigation, the league emerged with more power than ever when it comes to disciplining players.

So whether it’s four games, six games, eight games, 10, 12, 16, whatever, Hunt’s best move will be to take it, and to move on.

As it relates to Cleveland’s contractual rights, if Hunt appears in fewer than six games this season, he’ll continue to have only two years of service for free agency purposes, making him an exclusive-rights free agent (i.e., not a free agent) in 2020. That would allow the Browns to keep him for another year at the minimum salary. If he’s suspended for the full year, Hunt’s current contract will toll until 2020.

However it plays out, the Browns won’t pay until Hunt plays. By moving when they did, the Browns have ensured that when Hunt plays he’ll be playing for them, and not for anybody else.

29 responses to “Kareem Hunt deal gives Browns no financial risk

  1. So outside of the woman he kicked, what’s the story on the other 2 fights he was in, with men? Seems alcohol is Hunts biggest problem. For his sake hopefully he can recover, and for anyone who might be around him when he’s drunk, watch out. It will take a video of him beating you to get an apology… And he will lie to whoever he needs to, in hopes of making it go away.

  2. The most shocking part of this story is the second incident happened at an Ohio resort. Who vacations in Ohio?

  3. I don’t mind running back needy teams trying this route. However the Browns were not a running back needy team. Opens them up for more criticism.

  4. Leman Russ says:
    February 12, 2019 at 11:39 am
    The most shocking part of this story is the second incident happened at an Ohio resort. Who vacations in Ohio?

    ———————————————————–

    The Browns, NFL season.

  5. Maybe the NFL should just simplify this entire issue. If a player get caught on tape or convicted of hitting anyone other than in self defense, the player is done in the NFL forever. Zero tolerance. If these guys cannot control themselves for the duration of their short careers then they don’t deserve to play in the NFL.

  6. Kansas City fired Dorsey. Green Bay let him go, and then made no attempt to bring him back. The guy is scum.

  7. When you grow up in Pittsburgh, you vacation in Ohio. Plus, he’s from there. Cleveland was actually my mother’s favorite city on earth and she was well travelled, domestic and international.

    We moved to NY when my dad’s company relocated (he was a VP) and my mother went to many destinations with him. To the day she died, she swore how nice the people of Cleveland were.

  8. How does this help ratings with the female demographic? Just curious. Mr Ratings himself (Goodell) seems to bypass “optics” if it means an AFC team can improve to possibly hurt the Pats.

    Ever notice how these are always AFC teams, Goodell protects (minus NE)?

  9. The Browns are smart. They got an all pro RB for nothing. No risk. Teams will spend a first round pick this year on RB’s and they won’t be as good as Hunt. The Browns also have Nick Chubb, who they drafted in the 2nd round because he had a knee injury in college. He’s seems like he’s still improving, and looks better than he was pre-injury. If that draft were held today, Chubb would definitely be an early to mid first rounder. The Browns have 2 pro bowl RB’s, and all it cost them was a 2nd round pick. They haven’t won anything yet, but they’re showing signs that they might have finally hired a GM. America has gone away from the idea that we need choir boys running our country or playing on our football teams. I’m far from perfect. I don’t think anyone else is either.

  10. With at least two violent incidents in 2018, the odds are Hunt will use up the 2nd & 3rd chances Browns will give him via their “zero tolerance” to domestic violence approach.

  11. “Between the 2015-16 Tom Brady litigation and the 2017 Ezekiel Elliott litigation, the league emerged with more power than ever when it comes to disciplining players.”
    =======================

    The NFL came out with the SAME powers that the NFLPA negotiated into the CBA. Don’t blame Goodell for exercising those powers that the players gave him.

    And 95% of the players that actually keep their nose clean aren’t affected by this, so they don’t care.

  12. Make up your mind Florio. First the NFL has too much power to discipline players and then the NFL doesn’t do enough to discipline players.

    Which is it?

    NFL can’t keep on letting the players get away with beating their girlfriends/Wives. If anything, 6 months suspension for first time offense in this case is too short.

  13. Doesn’t seem right that the chiefs are the only party to really lose from this situation and are the only ones who did the right thing. NFL really needs to address this, otherwise, why would teams continue to cut these guys if they’re just going to pop back up in the league the next year or even a few games? His value before the incident should be calculated and the signing team should have to forfeit what would be like 80% of it. Again, calculations need to be done but my example is let’s just say hunt is worth a 1st round pick before the incident, in order to sign him, the Browns (in this case) should have to give up at least a 2nd rounder to KC. Now it may not be worth signing him & hunt is the one being punished and the team acquiring his services are giving up something of significant value so they don’t just get a free shot at a premium player. This way, the tables would be flipped and someone may not want to sign hunt so he’s taking the biggest hit and the team acquiring him is now incurring the risk while the team who did the right thing is rewarded

  14. tylawspick6 says:
    February 12, 2019 at 12:01 pm
    How does this help ratings with the female demographic? Just curious. Mr Ratings himself (Goodell) seems to bypass “optics” if it means an AFC team can improve to possibly hurt the Pats.

    Ever notice how these are always AFC teams, Goodell protects (minus NE)?
    ________________________________
    Please seek help.

  15. Let’s see… Chiefs cut him (no compensatory draft pick). Browns signed him on the cheap. Even if Hunt only plays part of the 2019 season, if he leaves the Browns and signs a big FA deal, the Browns will get a compensatory draft pick (3rd or 4th rounder). Sounds like the Browns will win regardless.

  16. Not sure hiring a woman beater is a zing at KC. KC got rid of a top 5 RB in the league and got nothing for it. Well, they did get something. It’s called respect, a heavy dose of it at that. Dorsey already has Chubb, Dorsey has nothing to gain but a black eye, and Hunt May give it to him… Literally.

  17. I’m far from perfect. I don’t think anyone else is either.

    So if it was your sister that was kicked you would be ok with the signing? Or is it only a good signing if you don’t know the woman that was assualted?

  18. While i admire the Chiefs for the stance they took I don’t fault the Browns for trying to make their team better. We are a nation of second-chance givers (like it or not) and this is Hunt’s second chance. I think however being on the exempt list is a good thing and would think a min of 8 games is not out of order.

    I’m also thinking the Chiefs might have been better off to suspended him, let Goodell take over with the exempt list action and bring him back when the dust settles.

  19. “While Hunt is on the Commissioner Exempt list, the Brown will be paying him while he’s not eligible to play only if his suspension under the Personal Conduct Policy isn’t finalized until the start of the regular season, which is highly unlikely. If/when the suspension is announced and appealed before Week One, the Browns won’t be paying Hunt while Hunt serves his suspension.”

    No doubt Roger is peeved that Hunt was signed so quickly. I expect him to ‘carefully consider all aspects of the incident’ before announcing the suspension. My guess is that the commish has already made up his mind, and will make that monumentous announcement somewhere between the final roster cuts and opening day, and impose a pair of 6-game suspensions.

    There is no presumption of innocence.
    There is no due process required.
    There is no right to a fair and speedy trial.

    So I would look for the outcome that best expresses Goodell’s displeasure with Dorsey.

  20. Was a very smart and great move by the Browns. People are making too much out of that shove over not kick that Hunt did, what about her screaming racist stuff and spitting in his face? Great move Browns!!

  21. Mike Florio, FYI…the Cleveland Browns have RB Dontrell Hilliard and RB Devante Mays. They would be traded long before
    Duke Johnson Jr. would be traded.
    Duke Johnson Jr. is a great RB for receiving and running. He stays on the roster.

  22. With all the RBs Cleveland has, they can wait until Hunt’s suspension is up and trade him for draft picks and the picks received will be for free.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!