Lions GM Bob Quinn says he passed on Kareem Hunt because 'I want good people in our organization'
The Browns signed the controversial former Chiefs running back on Monday
On Monday, the Cleveland Browns former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt. Hunt had been out of the league since late November of 2018 following the release of a video that showed Hunt assaulting a woman in a hotel hallway back in February of 2018. The star running back was quickly placed on the commissioner's exempt list (preventing him from playing) and then released by the Chiefs later that afternoon.
Brown GM John Dorsey, who drafted Hunt into the league back when he was with the Chiefs, released a statement regarding the signing and noted that he felt comfortable with Hunt's plans for becoming a better person:
"My relationship and interaction with Kareem since 2016 in college was an important part of this decision-making process but we then did extensive due diligence with many individuals, including clinical professionals, to have a better understanding of the person he is today and whether it was prudent to sign him," Dorsey said. "There were two important factors: one is that Kareem took full responsibility for his egregious actions and showed true remorse and secondly, just as importantly, he is undergoing and is committed to necessary professional treatment and a plan that has been clearly laid out."
Later in the day, the Detroit Lions held an event where fans were able to ask questions of general manager Bob Quinn. One of those fans wanted to know whether the team had considered signing Hunt, and if not, why. Here's what Quinn had to say, via MLive.com:
"We consider everybody that's available," he said. "Obviously, when that player was released, toward the end of the season, every team had the opportunity to claim him, number one, and would actually be on a cheaper contract than he signed today.
"We evaluate every player on the field and off the field, and in this case, we talked about it internally and it was just a player we didn't feel comfortable with the Lions for numerous issues. I stand by that. That's my word. I want good players and I want good people in this organization."
Quinn's stance is commendable in an era where teams are often willing to overlook transgressions like Hunt's if it means acquiring an elite player. (You don't have to look that far for other examples around the league, besides Hunt himself. The Cowboys signed Greg Hardy a few years back, for example, while Jerry Jones now touts his for domestic violence despite continuing to employ Ezekiel Elliott, who was suspended by the NFL for violating the league's domestic violence policy.)
As far as his assertion that he only wants good people in the organization goes: I don't know whether Kareem Hunt is a good person or not. I know from that disturbing video that he has done a very bad thing and I know from some of his public comments afterward that he did not necessarily take responsibility for his actions, but rather merely wanted to move on from what had transpired.
Perhaps in the time since late November, Hunt really has put in work to become a better person and learn from what he did. Perhaps he has figured out ways to handle his anger issues and to correct his attitude towards and treatment of women. If he has, that's great. Good for him. But there has been no public information to indicate that he has done so other than a report from NFL media on Monday that he has done alcohol and anger management counseling; and considering it's been just barely two months since the video emerged, a healthy dose of skepticism is warranted here. Hunt being given a second chance should not be off the table but asking that he prove himself deserving of it before actually getting it does not seem like a bridge too far.
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