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Pros and Cons of Lions Trading for RB Kareem Hunt

Kareem Hunt wants to be traded from the Cleveland Browns. Should the Detroit Lions target him?

Running back Kareem Hunt has requested a trade out of the Cleveland Browns organization.

Heading into his sixth season as a pro, the 27-year-old is in line to be the Browns’ backup behind starter Nick Chubb. However, he reportedly asked to be dealt away. A report from ESPN states that the Browns' front office has declined his request.

Should Cleveland change its mind and decide to deal Hunt, could he be a fit for the Detroit Lions?

In short, no.

Hunt has been productive throughout his career, totaling 3,557 rushing yards over his time as a pro. His best season was his first, when he rushed for 1,327 yards as a rookie with the Kansas City Chiefs.


However, it’s hard to see the fit in Detroit. The Lions already have two running backs they feel good about in D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams, as well as several options for the third spot.

It’s difficult to imagine a player who has as much talent as Hunt being happy with being the third option out of the backfield. Detroit has plenty of players already competing for that third spot, and each has shown potential when given opportunities in the past.

Lions head coach Dan Campbell seems to be content with what he has in the backfield. Last week, he complimented second-year running back Jermar Jefferson’s growth, as the Oregon State product battles to win a roster spot.

The Lions also have fourth-year veteran Justin Jackson, and returning contributors Craig Reynolds and Godwin Igwebuike in camp competing to be the team’s third option.

On the other hand, a deal for Hunt would essentially lock him in as the third option. He’s seen his productivity decline since Chubb has broken out, as Hunt ran for just 386 yards in eight games last season.

At the peak of his career, the Toledo product was a threat both on the ground and through the air. In addition to 272 carries in his rookie season with the Chiefs, he caught 53 passes.

With so many choices in the backfield to begin with, it’s hard to imagine Detroit general manager Brad Holmes making a deal with the Browns that would sacrifice anything of value, such as draft picks or a young player.

Hunt has also dealt with off-the-field issues that have halted his career’s progress. A video of him abusing a woman surfaced in 2019, which caused him to be released by the Chiefs. After signing with the Browns, he was suspended eight games for the incident.

The Lions are building something within their own walls. 

If Hunt doesn’t want to play behind Swift and Williams, he may be unhappy, which could hurt the culture inside the team's locker room. 

Running backs coach Duce Staley seems happy with the talent in his room, so Detroit appears fine with standing pat with what it has.