The NFL’s teams apparently learned something from last week’s misadventures in Washington.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt cleared waivers on Monday. It means that no team (not even Washington) claimed the balance of his rookie contract. Hunt now becomes a free agent.
On Tuesday, Washington claimed former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster on waivers after the team that made him a first-round pick in 2017 released Foster following his second domestic violence arrest of the year. Washington was loudly criticized for the move, and the organization then found a way to make it worse by clumsily defending the decision.
The Chiefs waived Hunt, a third-round pick in 2017 and the league’s rushing champion as a rookie, after video emerged on Friday of him shoving and kicking a woman in the hallway of a Cleveland hotel back in February. He previously had been placed on paid leave by the league.
The NFL will continue to investigate two different incidents involving Hunt, and eventually he’ll likely receive an unpaid suspension. In the interim, he can sign with any team, but if no team were willing to claim his contract now, it’s likely that no one will sign him until, at the earliest, the extent of his unpaid suspension is known.
It’s unlikely that Hunt will become a full-blown pariah, like Ray Rice did after video surfaced of a violent knockout of his then-fiancee. He’s young, he’s talented, he can help a team win, and someone will eventually give him a second chance. For now, he’ll hopefully focus on getting his life straightened out, addressing whatever anger-management issues that have affected him in the past, and preparing for a future that will entail far more years out of football than in football.