The Chicago Bears do not need Kareem Hunt on the field or off of it
At their end of the season press conference, Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace were questioned about their relationship and stance on running back Kareem Hunt. While neither gave a firm answer, either way, reports started to flow out of the press conference with the headline stating that they did not say “no” to the idea. They did not thoroughly wash it away.
Kareem Hunt once played with Matt Nagy in Kansas City. Jordan Howard had the worst season of his career and did not seem to be a great fit with Nagy and the new offense. It is easy to put two and two together and think that on the football field, Nagy would prefer Hunt to Howard. While that may be true, and while Howard may not be back with the Chicago Bears next year, the team does not need to go out of their way to sign Kareem Hunt for on the field and off of the field purposes.
On the field
Fantasy football players love Kareem Hunt. He scores touchdowns and is an offense that scores a lot of points. That is great for fantasy football fans. However, on an NFL football field, a lot of running backs, and I mean A LOT can do what Kareem Hunt did in the past two seasons.
Heck, let’s take Damien Williams, the back that replaced Kareem Hunt. Damien Williams spent four years as a backup for the Dolphins. There is no way he can step in for a first round pick in fantasy football, right? Wrong.
Damien Williams has as many 100-yard rushing games as many 20 carry games as Kareem Hunt this season. Hunt has 11 starts, Williams has 3. The Chiefs got workhorse production at a higher rate from a four-year backup on the Dolphins than Kareem Hunt. The offense that Hunt is in makes him more than the other way around.
C.J. Anderson is going off for the Los Angelas Rams. Phillip Lindsay was an absolute stud as a UDFA running back. Remember, Kareem Hunt was a third-round pick who started his career behind Spencer Ware.
Running backs matter. However, they are devalued because there are hundreds of good running backs. To think that Kareem Hunt is an irreplaceable asset is straight up wrong.
Especially considering that it was Matt Nagy who helped spot him in round three. It was the Nagy offense that he broke out in. If there is one thing we learned this season, it is that Matt Nagy knows offensive talent. Do we think that Nagy cannot find a single soul to play as well as Kareem Hunt did? Andy Reid found Damien Williams rather easily. It was not hard for Sean McVay to find his man in C.J. Anderson.
On top of that, do we remember how good Ryan Pace is at finding gems in the draft? Does Tarik Cohen ring a bell? Every year there is a third-round running back or later which breaks out, Kareem Hunt being one of those backs. Alvin Kamara, Aaron Jones, James Conner, the list goes on of running backs found outside of round three being studs in the NFL. Go on youtube and you can find more than five running backs in this class that could have a big year if Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace bought in and brought them in.
Ryan Pace lives off of finding gems. Matt Nagy has a track record of finding underrated offensive talent and producing more than expected. Why would these two go out of their way for Kareem Hunt?
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Off of the field
Listen, I am not going to sit here and talk about morals and all of that stuff. I understand every situation is different, and if you want to debate these merits in the comment section, that is fine.
All I will say is that the action will follow him. Nobody is going to forget that video when he plays his first game in September next Sunday. ESPN will cover it. CBS will cover it. Heck, CNN, MSNBC, and everyone from Ellen Degeneres to Michael Strahan will bring this up at some point, looking for reactions.
Matt Nagy did not appreciate that he did that away from the team. It is a “we” thing, not an “I” thing. Do the Bears want to see Kareem Hunt on an apology tour doing every talk show he possibly can to show that he turned his life around? Because if Kareem Hunt intends to move on from this, that is the only way that he can do it. If Parkey is selfish for his appearance on the Today Show, anything Hunt does to protect his name will come off in the same light. He will not be with his teammates as he talks on national stages about his past actions.
Then comes the money. Yes, Kareem Hunt cost himself a lot of money. However, he is going to make more than a fifth-round rookie. Heck, if a team signs him, he will make more than C.J. Anderson or Damien Williams.
Adding Kareem Hunt does not make much sense. The Chicago Bears have proven that when it comes to running backs, they can find them cheap. The NFL has shown that when it comes to running backs, they can find them anywhere and everywhere.
Paying any sort of tax whether it be in the price tag, moral questions, media obligations, any of the above makes Hunt completely overvalued and not worth being signed. If Kareem Hunt was one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, it is a trickier decision.
He plays an easily replaceable position. There will be 10 “next Kareem Hunt’s” between now and the NFL draft. There is no need to add Kareem Hunt when the Bears have shown they can as easily add the “next Kareem Hunt.”