The Cleveland Browns have a lot of wealth at running back, which could make Kareem Hunt a valuable trading asset heading into the season.
One team floated as contenders for Hunt was the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, who have capable guards in Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr. but would certainly welcome the former running leader for a more important role.
The hunt was mentioned by Bleacher Report in a series of trades that “make sense” before the season. The Rams would get Hunt and the Browns would get a third-round pick in exchange for their backup running back. Here’s what B/R had to say about the possible deal.
In short, the Rams don’t have a proven bell cow on their roster. Cleveland Browns backup Kareem Hunt, who led the league as a rookie in 2017, has shown he can be just that.
Hunt is entering the final year of his contract and is hoping for an extension. However, the Browns have established depth behind starter Nick Chubb with D’Ernest Johnson, Demetric Felton Jr. and fifth-round rookie pick Jerome Ford on the roster.
Also cited is the $9.7 million in ceiling space that the Rams have available. They would be able to fit Hunt and his $6.3 million cap and add another layer to their explosive offense.
Hunt’s future in Cleveland uncertain beyond this season
While Hunt turned out to be a killer couple with Nick Chubb. However, there are questions about his long-term future in Cleveland, which could lead the Browns to trade him this season and get something in return.
His recent injury history could be a concern for the Browns. He suffered calf and ankle injuries last year which forced him to miss nine games.
“It was hard” Hunt told Cleveland.com this offseason. “Last year was very difficult for me not being able to go there every week and compete, which I love doing. I’m not really used to missing games with injuries, so it was I went to rehab and came back.
But the former NFL rushing leader has a huge advantage when healthy, with more than 5,150 scrimmage yards and 44 touchdowns to his name on a five-year career in the NFL, so as long as he can stay on the pitch, he can be a force.
Hunt would like to stay in Cleveland long term
Although Hunt isn’t the point guard with the Browns, he’s comfortable with his role with the hometown team and has made it clear he’d like to stay long-term.
“I really don’t know what to think right now,” Hunt said on June 17. “I just try to go out there and show them I’m healthy, show them I’m ready to play for them as long as they want, so I would like to stay here for a long time.
It all depends on how much the Browns want to invest in the job going forward, with Chubb already signed on a big contract until 2024. And there’s also the idea that the Browns could get a similar return from a cheaper return to D’Ernest Johnson. With Hunt and Chubb on the shelf, Johnson started a pair of games last season and finished the season with 534 yards on 100 carries and three touchdowns.
Cap space won’t be an issue for the Browns this season, with the team having a Best NFL $48.4 million remaining. But in the long run — with offers for Deshaun Watson, Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward and others on the books — Cleveland might not be able to match what other teams might offer Hunt once he does. will become a free agent.
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