Hunt has signed his second-round contract tender with the Browns, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Hunt, who thus stands to earn $3.26 million this coming season, carried 43 times for 179 yards and two TDs to go along with 37 catches for 285 yards and a receiving score in eight games with the Browns in 2019 after returning from an eight-game suspension. Now that he's back in the fold, the 24-year-old will continue to serve as the team's No. 2 back behind Nick Chubb. However, even in that context, Hunt's involvement in Cleveland's passing game puts the 2017 third-rounder on the PPR radar.
Hunt has received a second-round restricted free agent tender from the Browns, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Given Hunt's status as a 2017 third-round pick, the Browns probably could've gotten away with an original-round tender to dissuade any offer sheets. The decision to go a bit higher and pay more money suggests the running back is a priority, though an offseason traffic stop briefly cast doubt upon his future with the team. Hunt escaped the incident without any charges, and he'll now enter the offseason program locked in as Cleveland's No. 2 running back behind Nick Chubb. Given his off-field history, it's hard to imagine any team would surrender a second-round pick for the right to sign Hunt to an offer sheet.
Hunt won't be charged with marijuana possession following a Jan. 21 traffic stop, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. Hunt will escape the situation with nothing more than a speeding ticket, but the potential exists for the NFL to mete out punishment due to his checkered history away from the field. As for his future with the Browns, he's expected to receive a restricted free-agent tender from the team before the start of the new league year March 18. Placing an original-round tender on Hunt likely would be enough to stave off overtures from other organizations for the 2017 third-round pick, who racked up 464 yards from scrimmage and three TDs on 80 touches in eight games last season.
The Browns plan to give Hunt a restricted free agent tender, Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports. General manager Andrew Berry confirmed the plan but didn't elaborate on the level of the tender. An original-round tag should be enough to stave off interest from other teams, considering Hunt was a third-round pick back in 2017. His talent alone might warrant giving up a draft pick in addition to an offer sheet, but Hunt's problematic off-field history reduces his value to most teams. He was in the news again last month when a police officer found a small amount of marijuana in his car, though he wasn't arrested or cited. It remains to be seen if the NFL league office takes interest in the minor incident.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said Wednesday that he still wants Hunt to be part of the team if the running back can follow the expectations that have been laid out for him, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Hunt was in the news a couple weeks ago, when he was stopped for speeding and a police officer found a small amount of marijuana in his car. He seems to have escaped the incident with nothing more than a speeding ticket, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll avoid a fine and/or suspension from the NFL. The 24-year-old running back is scheduled to be a restricted free agent this offseason, and it sounds like the Browns still plan to keep him around. A second-round tender would cost approximately $3.3 million, while an original-round tender would be closer to $2.1 million, per OvertheCap.com. The second option would force the acquiring team to send a third-round pick to Cleveland as compensation for poaching Hunt, as the running back was selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Browns also have the right to match any offer sheet, assuming they use one of the RFA tenders.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|8||11/01||Las Vegas Raiders||0.00|
|15||12/20||@New York Giants||17||17.75|
|16||12/27||@New York Jets||9||14.50|
|3 Year Avg||165||777||6||39||373||4||174|