Kareem Hunt asks the Browns for a contract extension

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt has not participated in team drills for the past two days of practice because he has asked the team for a long-term contract extension. .

Hunt will enter the final year of a two-year, $12 million deal he signed two years ago. The 27-year-old has been productive in his three seasons with Cleveland, but missed nine games last season with calf and ankle injuries.

Hunt’s situation adds to the drama for the Browns, who are awaiting a decision on how long quarterback Deshaun Watson will be suspended for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policies.

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski hopes to deal with Hunt’s situation before Sunday’s practice.

There’s no question the Browns value Hunt — who led the league in rushing as a rookie with Kansas City in 2017 — but he wasn’t healthy last year and the team is better suited at that position.

Cleveland signed Hunt, who grew up in the zone, as a free agent in 2019. He came with problems of his own: The league suspended him the first eight games of 2019 for off-the-court behavior, including pushing and kicking a woman when he was Chiefs player.

A ferocious runner on the ball, Hunt had 841 yards in 2020 and added 304 receiving yards. He led the team with 11 touchdowns and teamed up well with Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb.

There has been speculation about Hunt’s future because the Browns have Chubb (1,259 yards in 2021) as their main rusher and another solid backup in D’Ernest Johnson, who had 534 yards last season.

Cleveland also selected Jerome Ford in the fifth round of the Draft out of Cincinnati.

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Kareem Hunt asks the Browns for a contract extension