There was a report that surfaced on Sunday that there are “multiple teams” interested in former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt and that he will “have a job sooner than later.” This comes courtesy of ESPN’s Adam Schefter who is as dialed in as anyone when it comes to league matters.
That leads us to the new look Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs have an opportunity here to make up for what appears to be a swing and a miss on Ronald Jones in the draft last year. If they are one of the teams interested in Hunt, they can certainly get him at an affordable rate on a “prove you can stay out of trouble” type deal.
The other thing to bear in mind is new head coach Bruce Arians. He has no qualms about taking on troubled players and giving them second chances to become better men while continue to follow their dream. The most obvious example of this is Tyrann Mathieu.
Arians spoke about this in his book, “The Quarterback Whisperer” where he goes into detail as to why he selected Mathieu in his first draft as a head coach and what makes him give these players opportunities;
“When I met Ty before the draft, I could tell he was a good kid. It absolutely crushed him to lose the thing he loved most in life - football. He politely asked me for an opportunity and if I gave him one he said he wouldn’t disappoint me.
There are too many times in the NFL where coaches and general managers are too worried about public opinion. We forget about the person and what the person is going through. The NFL is too quick to cast some players out of the league because they have a bad image. We’re ruining lives. Instead, we need to try and fix the players. Is the problem drugs? Alcohol? Let’s fix it. Let’s try to address the problem rather than kick players to the curb because they have a tainted reputation. This is one of my biggest pet peeves with the NFL.”
There is no excuse for Hunt’s actions. Could it have been avoided? Yes. Could he have walked away? Absolutely. Is it worse than what some other active players in the NFL have done in the past, including former teammate Tyreek Hill? No. That doesn’t make it better or okay in any way, but it also doesn’t mean Hunt should be banned forever.
Heck, Joe Mixon was one of the most talked about running backs in the league this season and his video was far worse.
No, the issue was that Hunt didn’t come clean when he had the chance. The Chiefs felt betrayed and they were lied to. That didn’t sit well and Hunt was out the door.
Kareem Hunt improves the Buccaneers immediately. There is no debate there. The debate is whether or not Bucs fans would accept him, the public image of the team, and whether or not ownership would sign off on it.
I get the feeling that if Arians wants him on the team, he’ll present a compelling case to GM Jason Licht - as well as ownership if need be - as to why the team needs him and what Arians himself will do to help Hunt become a better person, a better man, and get him any kind of help he may need so that this issue is simply a speed bump on the long career road of the former Toledo Rocket.
If this subject was addressed with the previous staff in place, I would say there is no chance that the Bucs even sniff bringing in Hunt. However, with Arians at the helm and his propensity to give guys the chance they need to make up for past mistakes, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the Buccaneers were one of the teams interested.
No risk it, no biscuit. Right?