Cleveland needs to add more depth in the backfield but Browns HC Kevin Stefanski noted they expect RB Jerome Ford to be their new starter.
“Well, we’re working on (finding a back),” Stefanski said. “Andrew (Berry) and the personnel department are working through options. You don’t, as you know, you don’t replace Nick Chubb. You just don’t do that. Great players in the league, you look around, they go out. It’s always not one person that replaces a player of his caliber. So everybody’s got to do a little bit more, a little bit more everywhere. But we’ll look at options there in terms of who we bring in.”
Hunt has been available for months with little interest from Cleveland, who swung a trade for former Patriots 2022 fourth-round RB Pierre Strong during the preseason. However, the circumstances have certainly shifted for the Browns and Hunt already knows the system.
Hunt, 27, is a former third-round pick of the Chiefs back in 2017. He was in the second year of his four-year, $3.263-million contract and set to make base salaries of $555,000 and $645,000 over the next two years of the agreement when the Chiefs waived him in December following video of him kicking a woman.
The Browns elected to sign Hunt to a one-year contract worth over $1 million, not factoring in a suspension. Hunt forfeited $303,529 of his $645,000 base salary with his eight-game suspension, with a chance to earn $200,000 in per-game roster bonuses upon return.
Hunt re-signed with Cleveland as a restricted free agent heading into 2020. He was set to make $3.27 million under the second-round tender before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2021 when he signed a two-year, $13.5 million extension before the start of the season.
Hunt is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He most recently visited with the Vikings, once again leaving without a deal.
In 2022, Hunt appeared in all 17 games for the Browns and rushed for 468 yards on 123 carries (3.8 YPC) to go along with 35 receptions for 210 yards receiving and four total touchdowns.
Akers, 24, was a second-round pick of the Rams out of Florida State in the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s in the final year of his four-year, $6,173,035 contract that included a $2,049,480 signing bonus.
In 2022, Akers appeared in 15 games for the Rams and rushed for 786 yards on 188 carries (4.2 YPC) and seven touchdowns to go along with 13 receptions on 18 targets for 117 yards.
In Week 1, Akers rushed 22 times but for only 29 yards.
We have Hunt listed in our Top 100 Available 2023 NFL Free Agents list.