Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy has left the door open to possibly pursuing ex-Kansas City Chief running back Kareem Hunt. Nagy said he "was raised... to give guys second chances, not third chances."
Hunt will be looking for a second chance to play in the NFL after he was released by the Chiefs last November when a video came out showing him shoving and kicking a woman in the hallway of his home in Cleveland, Ohio.
The incident took place back in February 2018, but it wasn't until TMZ posted the video that the Chiefs made the move to cut the star back. The team stated that Hunt hadn't been honest with them regarding the incident when they had talked to him about it and the running back did confirm that in an interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters: "I didn't tell them everything. I don't blame them for anything. My actions caused this. ... The Chiefs did what was right."
Nagy, who was the Chiefs' offensive coordinator back in 2017 (Hunt's rookie year), said that he had reached out and called Hunt a week ago to see how he was holding up:
"I talked to Kareem, completely wanting to know how he's doing. We had a good conversation. Here's a kid that I spent a year coaching on offense. It's a tough situation. I wanted to see ... making sure that he's OK but understanding, too, the situation that happened is unfortunate for everybody. He knows that."
"The only thing I cared about when I talked to him was literally his personal life, how he's doing. It was a good conversation. He sounded good. But that's it. The other stuff, that's not where it's at. There's more to it than the football, so we talked strictly on that."
Nagy went on to praise Hunt's talent, saying:
"I had a really good experience with him... On the football field, you can see what he does."
"As far as the person, with me and coaching him and all that stuff, there were no issues at all. He was a really, really good kid. He came to work every day. He wasn't late to meetings, any of that. So it was obviously a surprise."
With Bears running back Jordan Howard coming off his worst season (935 yards rushing) and entering the last year on his contract, they could be in the market for another RB to compliment Tarik Cohen. But while the coach seems to be interested in getting Hunt on the team, Bears general manager Ryan Pace made sure to say that, "We're not even there yet. I mean, I know what he is as a player obviously from watching. Matt knows more about him as a person. We're not even close to that point."
What This Means
Even before Nagy's soft, place-setting, comments - most people would have guessed that Hunt will be playing again in the NFL sooner than later. He has to get off the Commissioner Exempt List and be reinstated by the league, but as soon as he can play, he probably will be.
Hunt led the league in rushing in his rookie year and is a very talented, Young, player. And unfortunately, those facts will generally outweigh what all saw in that TMZ video. Had Ray Rice not been on the tail end of his career, he probably would have been picked up by some team at some point also.
In fact, we think there were teams that would have sighed Hunt right after the Chiefs let him go had it not been for the fact that Washington had just recently picked up another accused-domestic violence perpetrator Ruben Foster after he was let go by the 49ers. Washington was getting a whole lot of flack in the media for that pickup and with that in the Zeitgeist, we think it scared teams away from signing Hunt back then.
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