Kareem Hunt faces a long road back to playing football again. Hunt was released by the Chiefs earlier this season after a video surfaced showing him assaulting a woman at a hotel. No team was willing to pick up Hunt off waivers after he was released by Kansas City. Here is a look at a video of the incident, but please be advised it is graphic.
Not only would a team have to be willing to sign Hunt, but the running back would also face a lengthy suspension once he came back to the league. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported that Hunt likely faces at least a six-game suspension if a team does pick him up again.
According to sources with direct knowledge of the situation, Hunt faces more than the baseline six-game suspension for violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The league also has been investigating an incident involving Hunt allegedly punching a man in the face at an Ohio resort in June. The NFL is believed to have found enough from that incident to add to Hunt’s discipline.
Hunt Likely Faces a Suspension of 6 Games or More
ESPN reported Hunt was also involved in two other incidents that the NFL is investigating. Hunt has begun working with the league on treatment and a counseling program per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Although the NFL’s investigative process is ongoing, Hunt has voluntarily sought counseling after being involved in multiple violent off-the-field incidents this past year, all of which the league is now taking into consideration for potential future discipline.
Hunt still has a long way to go before he can make his way back onto the field, but this is a first step that would have likely been mandated by the NFL down the road.
The Chiefs released Hunt on the day the video was published and noted in a statement that the running back had not been truthful with the team about the incident. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt spoke about why the team decided to release him and noted he hoped Hunt could eventually play football again after he received the help he needed.
“We’d had some issues with Kareem not being truthful with what happened that night and we really felt in everybody’s interest we head in another direction,” Clark Hunt told the New York Post. “When anybody comes to the Chiefs organization, part of what we expect of them is they’re going to be good citizens. We want them to give back, but really the first step for a young player is learning how to conduct themselves not only on the field but off the field…There was a report today that he’s going to do that [seek counseling]. I hope someday he can return to the National Football League. I’m not sure when that will be. But our message to him was, even though we are parting ways, we’re supportive of you. If you need help, we are here to help you.”
Hunt Is on the Commissioner’s Exempt List & Cannot Play Again Until the Investigation Is Over
According to ESPN, the NFL is continuing to investigate the incident even though Hunt is no longer on a team. Hunt is on the commissioner’s exempt list meaning he cannot play again until the investigation has been completed, even if a team signed him.
Even if another team does sign him, Hunt is on the commissioner’s exempt list, meaning he can’t play in or attend games until the investigation is over and a decision on potential discipline is made. He would not count against the team’s 53-man roster.