Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt has opened up about how the team is feeling as they wait for a verdict on the Deshaun Watson situation.
The Cleveland Browns quarterback is currently under investigation from the National Football League over 24 acts of sexual misconduct that he has been accused of committing during his time with the Houston Texans. Whilst he was not indicted by a criminal court for the allegations, he has been facing a number of civil suits against him from his accusers.
He did reach a settlement with 20 of those accusing him, the NFL is currently conducting their own investigation into the matter as they look at how long he could be suspended as a result of his actions, with reports emerging that an indefinite suspension could be coming his way.
The Browns, despite knowing these accusations were hanging over him, still traded for Deshaun Watson this offseason and gave him a fully guaranteed, 5-year, $230m contract to be their quarterback for the future.
A gamble that they needed?
Keeping things on the field, it was clear that the Browns needed an upgrade at quarterback, as whilst incumbent Baker Mayfield had given the Browns offence a little boost when he came in after the 2018 NFL Draft, with Watson having thrown for more yards, more touchdowns and a better pass completion percentage during his time in the NFL, he represented a clear upgrade to the Browns passing attack.
And given that they already had a pretty potent run game, which thanks to the work laid down by Hunt as well as Nick Chubb and D’Ernest Johnson was the 4th best in terms of yards on the ground and 7th in touchdowns, adding Watson could have made them one of the best all-round offences in the league.
And according to Hunt, having to wait to hear what is set to happen with Watson isn’t doing the rest of his teammates a lot of good.
What has Hunt said?
Speaking to Cleveland.com, Hunt spoke about a number of topics whilst at a youth football camp, Hunt opened up about how the team and the organisation are feeling about the situation, and he claims that it is causing some stress and confusion with how the team is going to be set up for the year ahead:
“Yeah, it’s definitely stressful for them. It’s tough because they’re trying to figure out what pieces they’ve got for the season and what plays they want to put it. You know, there’s different plays for Deshaun and (backup) Jacoby (Brissett), different playbook, different things we can do at quarterback.”
Which does make sense, because the length of the probable suspension could have a huge impact on how the team sets up. Do they still need to do some work with Watson in the hope that he might be back before the end of the year? Or do they work exclusively with Brissett if he is going to be the man for the year?
Whilst obviously not the most important issue in this matter, you have to hope for Cleveland’s sake that they get an answer sooner rather than later.