Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey “not there yet” when considering bringing in former Kansas City running back Kareem Hunt.
“We’re not there yet.” With those four words, Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey answered what many Bears fans have been asking regarding Kansas City Chiefs castoff running back Kareem Hunt.
Hunt has been on the commissioner’s exempt list since November 30th after a TMZ video surfaced in which Hunt was seen in a physical altercation with a woman including shoving and kicking her. He was cut by the Chiefs after the incident and cleared waivers, making him a free agent.
The Bears made news at their end of season press conference when head coach Matt Nagy mentioned that he’s been in contact with Hunt, who played under Nagy during their time together in Kansas City in the 2017 season.
"“I talked to Kareem, completely wanting to know how he’s doing,” Nagy said. “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.”"
"“We’re not there yet,” he said. “Ryan hasn’t said anything to me about Kareem Hunt. And Matt hasn’t said anything to me about Kareem Hunt.”"
The Bears struggled in the running game, especially with lead running back Jordan Howard having the worst season of his career, failing to reach the 1000 yard mark after successive seasons
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surpassing the 1000 mark in his first two years. Howard spent a lot of the offseason trying to improve his pass catching skills, but his yards per rush may have suffered. Could Howard have a bounceback in 2019? Absolutely.
But the questions about Hunt won’t die down until he signs somewhere. NFL insider Adam Schefter reports that multiple teams are interested in pursuing Hunt. A big question hanging over Hunt’s status for 2019. He has been out since the Chiefs cut ties on November 30th and missed their final six games including the postseason. Could Hunt still face suspension next season before he’s reinstated?
The NFL has been trying to crack down on domestic and violence issues with players off the field, and it’s especially damning when video evidence exists. That could mean that Hunt might miss significant time next season unless the league rules that the suspension amounts to “time served.”
There’s no denying that Hunt would be a great fit for Matt Nagy’s offense on the football field. He totaled over 1300 rushing yards and added nearly 500 receiving yards while Matt Nagy was his coordinator in KC. The big question is whether Hunt is a fit for the Bears locker room and for the community in Chicago.
For whatever it’s worth, as good as Hunt the football player is, I wouldn’t add the distraction to a Bears team that will be among the favorites for the Super Bowl in 2019. The Bears can certainly find someone for Matt Nagy’s system without compromising their integrity.