2. Kareem Hunt, RB
When Stump Mitchell was let go, he did something running back coaches rarely do — he went on a bit of a media tour. While he was highly complimentary of the Cleveland organization as a whole, he did make some interesting comments about Kareem Hunt. Mitchell stated that Hunt was someone he could never get the most out of, essentially saying he was often the last guy to arrive at meetings and practices.
Hunt, who was with the Browns for five seasons, nearly didn't come back in 2023. When the new year kicked off, Cleveland was set with Nick Chubb, Jerome Ford, and Pierre Strong, Jr. But in Week 2, it all changed when Chubb suffered a knee injury in their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. With him out, the Browns brought Hunt back who appeared in their final 15 games.
Ford continued to serve as the primary back but Hunt was used in short-yardage and goal-line situations. He averaged a career-low 3.0 yards per attempt but still proved to be able to find the end zone with ease as he scored nine touchdowns. For good measure, he put up two more in the playoffs.
Even with his ability to get into the end zone, it feels as though Hunt isn't coming back for sure this time. Perhaps the Browns go out and find another veteran or maybe they use a draft pick on someone who can challenge Ford for his spot. Either way, it doesn't feel as though Hunt is returning to his hometown team.
That doesn't mean there isn't a spot for him and perhaps that's in New England. Van Pelt knows how hard Hunt goes on the field and with Ezekiel Elliott hitting free agency, the Pats could decide to replace him with someone their new OC knows better.