2. Kareem Hunt, Running Back
There was a time when it would have made a lot of sense for the Browns to try and sign Kareem Hunt to another extension. The former NFL rushing leader signed with his hometown team following his release from Kansas City and following an eight-game suspension in 2019, he started to show why they took a chance on him.
In his second season with Cleveland, Hunt really took off. He started five games as Nick Chubb dealt with a knee injury and finished with 841 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. He also had 304 yards and five more touchdowns as a receiver.
Hunt then dealt with injuries in 2021 and missed nine games. He returned in 2022 saying he wanted to stick around beyond this season. And in Week 1, he made a case for that to happen.
Against the Carolina Panthers, Hunt had 46 yards rushing and 24 receiving with two total touchdowns. His performance was huge in the 26-24 win and showed them what their offense was missing during the nine games he was out the prior year.
Unfortunately, that effectiveness didn’t last all year. Hunt appeared to be worn down by the end of the campaign with 24 yards or fewer on the ground in the final five games. In all, he had 468 yards rushing and 210 receiving but produced career lows in yards per rush (3.8) and yards per catch (6.0).
Now a free agent, the Browns are going to have to move on. Whether they trust Jerome Ford or re-sign D’Ernest Johnson, they have to get someone with less tread on the tires to be the No. 2 back.