Being mentioned in the same conversation as some of the NFL’s greatest is likely a dream for most players. After accounting for 246 total yards and three touchdowns (148 rushing and 98 receiving) in his NFL debut, some were already talking about Kareem Hunt having that kind of potential.
But not anymore.
His rising star came crashing down when a video surfaced of him assaulting a woman. NFL fans can be forgiving of a lot of things (right, Michael Vick?), but not acts of domestic violence that they can see for themselves.
When you are young and talented, though, there is going to be someone willing to weather the storm of public opinion to give you another chance. For Hunt, that ended up being the Cleveland Browns.
But in light of his recent traffic stop, it is fair to wonder if he has bundled the second chance the Browns gave him. If so, then it might be reasonable to draw a comparison between him and another epic waste of talent—Josh Gordon.
It appears that Hunt was pulled over for speeding Tuesday afternoon. He was going 77 MPH in a 6o MPH zone, so had that been it, the incident would have likely never made the news cycle. But that wasn’t it. According to police reports, a marijuana odor coming from the car prompted police to search it.
They ended up finding small amounts of marijuana on three locations inside of a backpack. It must not have been enough to charge Hunt with anything (since they didn’t). All he got was a citation for speeding.
But for a guy coming off an eight-game suspension for domestic violence, even the appearance of impropriety can be enough for the NFL to hand down a punishment.
Small traces of marijuana do not mean Hunt has a drug problem, let alone one comparable to Gordon’s. But that is not where the comparison lies.
Gordon is an incredible waste of talent. That much was evident when he led the league in receiving yards (1,646) despite missing the first two games of the season for the first of many suspensions.
That was on a terrible Browns team!
Despite his many suspensions, teams keep giving him a try. But it will be interesting to see if he is able to come back after receiving his fifth suspension this year for violating the league’s drug policy.
It is a little too soon to call Hunt as talented as Gordon. But he has certainly shown some incredible potential. But, like Gordon, we may never see just how good he could be if he can’t stay out of trouble.
Right now, he is not in any trouble. The league is not going to punish him for getting a speeding ticket. But it would be just like the NFL to punish him for traces of marijuana so small the police didn’t bother citing him for it.
If that happens, who knows what the future could hold for Hunt.
Perception is almost as important as reality. Hunt now looks like a guy that can’t behave even when he knows the spotlight is on him. If he can’t behave when he knows everyone is watching, how can the Browns trust him?
It could eventually come out that the backpack was not his and he didn’t know it had marijuana. But the blame still comes back on him. He is responsible for the company he keeps.
Right now, Hunt does not have a roster spot for next season. His contract was for only one year. If whoever the new GM is has reason to fear this relatively minor incident could be a precursor to something more, he may cut Hunt loose.
Should that happen, Kareem Hunt could end up just like Gordon— a massive waste of talent.