Per a recent report from Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News, the New York Jets will not be interested in acquiring Kareem Hunt this offseason. This is ultimately the correct decision for the young, rebuilding franchise.
The New York Jets are a team that can use all the young, talented players they can get at this moment. Running back Kareem Hunt fits the bill as the 23-year-old had established himself as one of the premier running backs in the league before his release in November of last year, making him the talented playmaker the team needs.
But this isn’t the way to acquire said talent. A potential Hunt/Jets pairing has all the makings of a match made in football hell. Fortunately, a recent report from Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News insists that the Jets will steer clear of the former third-round pick this offseason.
Hunt was cut from the Kansas City Chiefs midway through the 2018 season after a video surfaced showing the gifted, but problematic running back assaulting a woman in a Cleveland hotel. The former Chief has since undergone counseling for anger issues and alcohol abuse stemming from previous concerns.s
Personal issues aside, Hunt was a rising star in the NFL quickly emerging as one of the best young players in the league before he got himself into trouble. Hunt led the league in rushing his rookie season totaling 1,327 yards and eight touchdowns earning a Pro Bowl nod in his first professional season. The Toledo product was well on his way to a similar season in terms of production this year as well.
The value he would bring to quarterback Sam Darnold and the entire offense cannot be understated. His running ability his well known but his value as a pass catcher is something that every young quarterback dreams of. Hunt had just as many receiving touchdowns this year, seven, as he did rushing scores to go along with 378 receiving yards for a spectacular 14.5 yards per reception.
But all the talent in the world cannot make up for the baggage he carries.
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The Jets are a young team with a second-year quarterback and a first-year head coach in the midst of a complete rebuild. This isn’t the time to add distractions and that’s just what Hunt would be.
This isn’t even necessarily an attack on his character, although it’s difficult to defend that either. This is strictly pointing out that Hunt’s expected lengthy suspension and media coverage would be quite the disturbance for an organization just trying to build a foundation.
Imagine a scenario where Hunt was actually signed by the Jets. Adam Gase would be bombarded with questions throughout the year. Darnold would be catechized about his new teammate’s troubled past on the regular. Not to mention that there would likely be some in the locker room unhappy about the team’s decision to bring in Hunt.
Those are all distractions. Distractions that expand beyond the rehabilitation process.
Players should be allowed an opportunity to change, all people should. But this is not a scenario that would be beneficial for either party. Exposing Hunt to the scrutiny of the New York media would be equally as damaging to him as it would be for the team.
It’s likely that Hunt will be given a chance to turn his life around and contribute for a new team next year, whether you believe that’s morally right or not. But one thing is for sure, it absolutely cannot be with the Jets.