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Browns Rumors: Kareem Hunt Seeking New Contract, Not Participating in Team Drills

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 6, 2022

Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt sat out of team drills in training camp for the second straight practice Saturday as he reportedly looks for a contract extension, per CBS Sports' Josina Anderson:

"Browns RB Kareem Hunt—currently seeking a contract extension—did not participate in team drills for the second consecutive practice on Saturday. Hunt told the team multiple times recently, his current plan is to participate in individuals drills only.

"Friday marked the first time since training camp started that Hunt didn't participate in the team portion of practice, per league sources. Their belief is Hunt’s partial ‘hold-in’ isn't health related. Hunt is subject to fines from the club. Hunt’s agent was at the Browns facility earlier this week per sources.

"I’ve been told several times Hunt periodically has said to members of the team informallyhe wants to get paid or traded. However, one source emphasized they believe Hunt would like to stay in Cleveland, but just wants to be compensated for his worth."

As noted by Anderson, Hunt is still participating in individual drills, making this a partial holdout of sorts.

Hunt, who turned 27 on Saturday, has played five NFL seasons. He's coming off an injury-shortened 2021 campaign (calf, ankle) that saw him amass 560 total yards and five touchdowns in eight games.

Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon-Journal confirmed Anderson's report.

Chris Easterling @ceasterlingABJ

League source has confirmed the <a href="https://twitter.com/JosinaAnderson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JosinaAnderson</a> report that <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Browns?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Browns</a> running back Kareem Hunt has sat out team drills the last two practices as he seeks out a new contract. Hunt, who did participate in individual drills, is in his final season of his current deal.

Hunt is in the final year of a two-season, $12 million contract extension. His best year with the Browns occurred in 2020, when he amassed 1,145 total yards and 11 touchdowns.

He and Nick Chubb formed a dynamic backfield duo en route to helping guide Cleveland to its first playoff appearance since 2002 and first postseason victory since 1994.

Last year didn't go nearly as well for the Browns as injuries piled up on the offense. Ex-Cleveland (now Carolina Panthers) quarterback Baker Mayfield notably played through a torn labrum (among other ailments), Hunt was out for most of the season, and offensive linemen Jack Conklin and Chris Hubbard landed on injured reserve.

The Browns' backfield is back healthy and good to go, though, as it hopes to recapture the 2020 magic.

Hunt reportedly has an eye on his next deal in the meantime, but he could easily find himself in position for another lucrative multiyear contract if he regains his past form.

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