BEREA, Ohio — The lasting visible of Kareem Hunt’s second NFL season wasn’t him stiff-arming a linebacker, shedding a sort out or barreling over a cornerback on the objective line for a landing.

It was Hunt pushing a younger girl after which kicking her whereas she was defenseless on the ground.

That second caught on a surveillance digital camera mortified the sports activities world and led to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs parting methods with one in every of their greatest gamers, a transfer universally admired.

The Cleveland Browns discovered it offensive as properly. Nevertheless, in addition they imagine it was a random act by a good-hearted younger man who feels remorseful and deserves one other likelihood.

On Monday, the Browns, who appeared to lastly emerge from years of gloom, doom and dysfunction by profitable seven video games behind rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield this previous season, signed Hunt to a one-year contract.

The surprising signing got here whereas the league continues to analyze Hunt’s conduct in an incident that befell in a downtown resort foyer final February. It got here simply weeks after Cleveland’s turnaround season following a 0-16 calamity that resulted within the hiring of latest coach Freddie Kitchens, whose appointment created extra momentum for a franchise that has spent the final 20 years spinning its wheels.

The Browns really feel they’re doing the proper factor. Time will inform. Hunt stays on the commissioner’s exempt checklist and will obtain a big suspension.

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Common supervisor John Dorsey, who drafted Hunt within the third spherical in 2017 whereas he was with Kansas Metropolis, stated the choice to signal the 23-year-old was rooted in his Christian religion. Hunt has proven contrition, sought counseling and remedy, and vowed to by no means make the identical mistake.

That’s sufficient for Dorsey, who stated nothing is assured and that he could have zero tolerance for additional wrongdoings by Hunt.

“You guys at all times hear me discuss males of character,” he advised reporters, who met with the GM in a convention room for 25 minutes not lengthy after the workforce introduced Hunt’s signing. “I’ll stand by that. I see numerous males of character who commit egregious acts. However on the finish of the day, they study from these acts, moved ahead and have become higher individuals. Once more, I imagine in second probabilities.”

Dorsey was adamant that the Browns accomplished a “thorough” investigation — the league’s inquiry continues to be not full — earlier than signing Hunt and that house owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam accepted the choice so as to add one other troubled participant (see Johnny Manziel, Josh Gordon) to Cleveland’s roster.

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